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Embracing Diversity Superintendent’s Message

INSIDECARROLL The Award-Winning Publication of Carroll ISD 2400 North Carroll Avenue Southlake, TX 76092 817.949.7080


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gina Mayfield Maleesa Smith


Each year, Inside Carroll magazine seeks to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at life as a Carroll Dragon. Easily one of the major highlights of the past year was the announcement that Carroll earned 120 points to win the University Interscholastic League’s coveted Lone Star Cup for student accomplishments in academics, athletics and the arts. This is the highest honor earned for high school excellence, and Carroll won it for the second time in school history at the state’s largest 6A classification, and the seventh time overall. Time and time again throughout the nine-month school year our students raised the bar of academic excellence as Academic All-State honorees, Academic All-Americans, AP Scholars and a host of other awards and accolades. Our students exceed state and national averages in every test taken, but also managed to raise mastery levels on four of five end-of-course STAAR exams. The Class of 2019 earned more than $24 million in college scholarships and will take what they learned and accomplished in the halls of Carroll ISD to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation. But it wasn’t all easy. CISD faced significant challenges during the 2018-2019 school year as well. Even as we focused on our goal of building resiliency in students, we found ourselves dealing with situations that challenged our ability to ensure a safe environment for every student. We spent a lot of time this past year discussing diversity, inclusion and the differences that set us apart. We brought in speakers, conducted professional development with our staff and formed advisory councils to give us input. Because of these tough conversations, I believe we are strengthening our expectations and creating a better environment for all Dragons. All of our efforts, we hope, will teach cultural competency among our Dragons so that our students and staff will embrace and value differences. The stories in this year’s magazine highlight the uniqueness of our students, staff and programs in Carroll ISD. As part of our Strategic Plan, we are focused on supporting students academically, physically, emotionally and socially. Building on a Dragon Tradition of Excellence, we want to foster a safe, caring and creative learning environment that inspires our students - ALL of our students - to realize their full potential and to positively impact the world around them. We learn best when we learn together and the greater Southlake community is committed to excellence for all students regardless of race, religion, sex, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Inside these pages you will learn about the formation of our District Diversity Council and the work of Eric McDade, CISD’s Leadership and Cultural Coach. Our School Board stepped up with resources and support for four additional intervention counselors at our secondary schools. With new programs like Hope Squad and the return of Rachel’s Challenge, our commitment to mental wellness is strong. After all, we are Carroll Dragons. And even in the face of adversity, we protect the tradition. It’s this commitment to excellence that began during the early years when CISD was formed. Inside Carroll magazine seeks to commemorate and celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the original 1919 building, along with the 60-year anniversary of the district’s formation as Carroll Independent School District. You’ll learn about the early years under the leadership of County Superintendent B. H. Carroll and Jack Johnson, as well as one of the most inspiring stories to support literacy and education in the history of the district, the legacy left by George Dawson. Be sure to check out the articles and photos showing progress on our 2017 Bond program as construction continues in our effort to improve and enhance all CISD facilities. Part of this progress includes upgrades to the safety and security at all campuses. With the help of the $550,000 donated by the City of Southlake, CISD is adding school resource officers, implementing a threat assessment system, fortifying campuses and using a social media monitoring software to scan for threats. Our #SAFEdragon program continues to be a model for other districts in Texas and the United States. We hope that this fifth edition of Inside Carroll magazine serves as a reminder that we have a responsibility to make school a safe and caring environment for every student. By partnering with city leaders, the faith community, businesses, parents, students and staff, we can and will make a difference. Thank you in advance for supporting our mission for every Dragon.



Dr. David J. Faltys Superintendent INSIDE CARROLL • 01





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ACADEMICS/ART Dragons Bring Home the Lone Star Cup


or the seventh time in school history, Carroll ISD has earned the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Lone Star Cup for the 2018-2019 school year. The Dragons join The Woodlands as the only twotime Lone Star Cup Champions at the 6A classification. Solid performances in academics, athletics and the arts helped the Dragons rack up 120 Lone Star points and secure this year’s cup over the second place school, Austin Westlake, who tallied 104 points. Each year, the UIL awards the Lone Star Cup to the top-performing school district in each classification (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A) across the state. The schools earn this honor by being the highest performing academic, fine arts and athletic programs in their respective classification. The points ranking system is based on how the district finished in various UIL academic and athletic competitions. Four athletic state championships, playoff appearances from all Dragon athletic teams and strong performances from the district’s fine arts program all added to Carroll ISD’s rich history of excellence in UIL competitions. “Our students have had a phenomenal year,” says CISD Superintendent David Faltys. “What makes the Lone Star Cup so special is that it recognizes the collective accomplishments of our students across the 04 • INSIDE CARROLL

entire high school program. Our Dragons earned this together - for their competitiveness in academics, fine arts and athletics. It was an amazing year for all our directors, coaches and sponsors, as well as the many talented students representing our district.” In 2013, the UIL announced that the new 6A classification would begin in 2014 to help even the playing field across all classifications. Carroll won the inaugural 6A Lone Star Cup in 2014-2015. At the time, it was CISD’s fourth consecutive Lone Star Cup. The combined achievements of Dragon athletics, fine arts and academic teams during the three previous school years earned Carroll ISD the Lone Star Cup for the UIL Class 5A. Carroll won its first two University Interscholastic League Class 4A Lone Star Cups back-to-back during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 school years. CISD earned a second-place finish in 2002-2003, which was the district’s first year in the 5A classification, and a second-place finish in 2010-2011. “We talk a lot about protecting the tradition,” Faltys adds. “That doesn’t always mean being the best at everything, but it does mean giving your very best. This year, our Dragons did just that, and they were rewarded with the highest honor given to a high school in Texas, the Lone Star Cup. I am proud of them for the way they have represented our community and their school.”


Culture Section Lead

CULTURE OF CARROLL With Dragons of all backgrounds, interests and talents, CISD strives to make each campus a place that students can look back on with a smile. The district has enacted many initiatives to help make that happen. Read about those here and learn more about our Dragon family.


CARROLL CULTURE Eric McDade Heads Up Leadership and Culture Coach Position


ith all 11 campuses proudly claiming the same Dragon as mascot, there has always been a special sense of unity in Carroll ISD. As the district grows, so does the desire to continue in unity and foster environments where all Carroll Dragons feel safe and respected. In light of that, when the position of Leadership and Culture Coach was created, high school Lead Worthy teacher and head boys basketball coach Eric McDade was the Superintendent’s obvious choice. “Eric is one of the most positive people I’ve ever been around,” says Carroll Superintendent David Faltys. “He has a unique set of skills that makes him

perfect for this new role. My vision for this position is that he would serve as a resource for all of us and help CISD ensure that we are making progress toward a positive culture and relationships with students.” Faltys says one of the goals in CISD’s Strategic Plan is to give students more of a voice in the decisions that affect them. “I have wanted for quite some time to assign an individual to join me in more face-to-face meetings with students,” Faltys adds. “Our plan is


to build a positive culture in Carroll ISD that values diversity, includes everyone and creates a safe and caring atmosphere built on strong relationships.” McDade’s training in Lead Worthy - formerly known as Teen Leadership - made him a perfect candidate to fill the new Leadership and Culture Coach role. He has been teaching teen leadership skills to students at Carroll High School for the past seven years. The Carroll School Board recently approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to make the Leadership and Culture Coach a full-time position. McDade, who has built relationships with basketball players and their siblings through summer camps for many years, often gets high fives and enjoys a bit of celebrity status when visiting elementary, intermediate and middle school campuses. He led kindness rallies at several CISD campuses in the past, and during the 2019-2020 school year will assist schools with the Rachel’s Challenge assemblies and curriculum. “The idea of the leadership and culture coach position was something that Dr. Faltys has wanted for a while,” McDade explains. “I’ve been able to go out and work with our students and teachers and just really look at ways to enhance the culture while equipping people with more tools for leadership and mentoring. It’s been a lot of fun.” With a mission to build on the Dragon tradition of excellence, McDade is tasked with planning, coordinating and designing professional development for district personnel with a primary focus on leadership and culture. Also included in the job description is developing leadership strategies which can be implemented by teachers and students to positively impact classroom and campus culture. Needless to say, McDade has been busy this past year. “I don’t think there is an average day,” McDade says. “One day, I was giving a web schematic and brainstorming. Another day, we were talking and meeting students on different campuses and talking about real issues that take place. Just to give them the opportunity to have a voice and take that feedback back to admin and say ‘Here’s what our students are dealing with. This is what they’re saying.’” Indeed, McDade’s new position has him working with everyone, from teachers and administrators to students and parents. Listed as one of his major responsibilities is providing “tools for parents that assist with parenting skills, student support and resiliency.” Whether he is speaking at Parent University (read more about the event in the following pages) or

talking one-on-one with a principal, McDade is wellequipped. For the past nine years, he has been working in a vein as a leadership development strategist for Flippen Group. Flippen Group was founded in 1990 by psychotherapist, and New York Times best-selling author, Flip Flippen. Through research-based tools, coaching and training, the group’s mission is to build relationships and processes that bring out the best in people. In doing so, the group aims to accelerate personal growth in schools, businesses, government, families and individuals. McDade has served with Flippen Group since 2011, implementing various practices and attending “Capturing Kids’ Hearts” training sessions. “I go out and train teachers, administrators and a lot of folks on the education side all over the country,” McDade says of his work with Flippen Group. “We look at ways to build relationships and ways to enhance leadership. That’s been a really neat thing that I’ve been able to do over summers.” This past year, the Flippen Group surprised McDade by honoring him as a model Lead Worthy teacher in front of thousands of DFW high school students during a rally in Grand Prairie. McDade and several other CISD Lead Worthy teachers took about 100 Carroll students to the rally, but little did he know that CSHS

student leader Jonathan Zapinski would call him up on stage to be recognized in front of the crowd as his mentor, teacher and coach. Now as Leadership and Culture Coach for Carroll ISD, McDade has been able to further put his experience to use. He is grateful to Carroll High School Principal PJ Giamanco for allowing him to travel beyond his duties at Carroll High during the 2018-2019 school year. “Last fall, I was able to go to each campus and just kind of do a culture survey where the principal would walk me through each classroom and show me the different things that they do,” McDade says. “The cool thing is, we’re all Dragons, but each one of our campuses is unique.” For McDade, the most rewarding part of his new position is being able to interact with students at every grade level. “I think Dr. Faltys summed it up with one statement he made, he said that the goal is that when our Dragons walk across the stage, our kids have a smile on their face and they know that they’ve had an educational experience that’s like no other,” McDade says. With McDade leading the charge, there is no doubt that he can help make that happen for Dragons of all ages. INSIDE CARROLL • 09

CARROLL CULTURE Carroll ISD Hosts Parent University Focused on The Resiliency Project

In the 2017-2018 school year, Carroll ISD introduced The Resiliency Project, an initiative emphasizing the mental and emotional well-being of students and the importance and impact it can have on their education and lives outside of the classroom. Academic demands, social media, peer pressure and relationship issues are extremely overwhelming for today’s students, resulting in students who demonstrate behavior, emotional and/or social needs. The Resiliency Project zeros in on seven interest areas in its approach to combat these issues: self-care and mental wellness, health and nutrition, bully prevention and kindness, conflict resolution, self defense and personal safety, drug and alcohol education and suicide prevention. As part of The Resiliency Project, Carroll ISD hosted a Parent University on resiliency and safety in October of 2018. The district’s goal was to provide helpful resources and information sessions for parents to learn about the ways Carroll ISD is encouraging resilience in students, as well as how that resilience can be encouraged in the home. The day began with an information fair full


of booths for parents to visit offering resources on subject matter addressing the seven focus areas of The Resiliency Project. Counseling centers, healthoriented businesses like Fly Kids Yoga and Sampson Jiu Jitsu, the Southlake Police Department and Carroll ISD Health Services, Child Nutrition and the Psych Behavior Team were just a few of the resources offered to parents during the kickoff of the event. “My background is in mental health and It has always been important to me to talk about mental issues and anxiety as part of the Resiliency Project,” says Carroll ISD School Board President Sheri Mills. The School Board was instrumental in kicking off The Resiliency Project during its launch, placing extreme emphasis on the implementation in the classroom and culture of Carroll ISD heading into the 2018-2019 school year. “When I think about resiliency, I think about the bounce back, about being able to weather storms and take on the tough challenges in life,” says Eric McDade, Carroll ISD’s newly implemented Culture Coach.

McDade kicked off the morning by introducing parents to the goals of The Resiliency Project, and emphasized how important teamwork amongst parents, teachers and the community as a hole is in building resilience in our students. “We are the guides, and as guides, we need tools in our toolbelt to be able to support and help,” McDade says. “You are not alone. Not only are you a guide, but the teachers, parents, community, those who help nurture our kids, we are all involved.” During the opening general session, parents had the opportunity to hear from seven individuals who had a personal connection to the goals of The Resiliency Project. From stories of family members with a past of drug abuse or suicide to an instance of conflict resolution in the workplace or the home, these personal stories allowed the audience to see the heart behind The Resiliency Project and the importance the seven focus areas have on their children both in and out of school. “For me, The Resiliency Project is not about how far we fall, but how we bounce back. It is refreshing to be reminded that we are all in this together,” Mills says. Parents then attended breakout sessions, which were more specific to one of the focus areas of The Resiliency Project. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about drug trends in

teens, suicide prevention training, the Rachel’s Challenge initatives taking place at all Carroll ISD campuses and more. During lunch, attendees had the opportunity to hear a keynote address from acclaimed author and speaker Dr. Adolph Brown, III. He addressed the topic of bully prevention and kindness. A large part of the targeted messages and focus areas of Parent University came to fruition as part of the work of The Resiliency Committee, which met regularly throughout the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. The Resiliency Committee is made up of staff and students from every Carroll campus and met regularly to discuss mental wellness, current CISD programs and ways the district could better support and encourage resilience in all students. “Parent University allowed our parents to see the voice of the students and their needs,” McDade says. “Students have been giving us a glimpse into what is important to them, and what they are needing us to listen to as adults.” Carroll ISD had over 100 parents in attendance for Parent University, and is planning on repeating the successful event in the Spring of 2020. Plans are also in the works for a Student University in the Fall of 2019, a chance for students to receive some additional resources on the subject matter of The Resiliency Project.

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CARROLL CULTURE ESL Program Represents Languages from Around the Globe


ith 41 total languages represented a m o n g s t ove r 3 5 0 s t u d e n t s , t h e Carroll ISD ESL (English as a Second Language) Program is one of the fastest growing in the district. The ESL program is designed to teach English language skills to students who are not proficient in the English language (designated as English Language Learners or ELLs) and the purpose of the program is to enable limited English proficient students to become competent in listening, speaking, reading and writing of the English language and to participate equitably in school. The ESL P r o g r a m h a s q u i te a diverse representation of languages from around th e g l o b e . M a n d a r i n speakers make up the largest percentage of the program at 24.6%, followed closely by Spanish, making up 22.7%. The ESL Program is run by Monica Gatshall, the ESL Coordinator, who has been in the district for 19 years. She began as an ESL Teacher and Team Lead for 11 years, then became the ESL Coordinator in 2013 when the program began to grow rapidly. “I love to see the progress these students make; many come with little to no English,” Gatshall says. “Seeing their confidence, peer relationships and academic knowledge increase as they acquire their second, and often their third, language is very satisfying.” If ELL students are at the beginning or intermediate levels of proficiency, they go to the campus ESL teacher for English Language Development during What I Need (WIN) time. If they are at the secondary level, they may be in an English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) class with an ESL teacher. This class addresses grade-level TEKS while also providing additional scaffolding for English Language Development and more opportunities to listen, speak, read and write in English every day. The accommodations that these ELL students benefit from are wait time, rewording or rephrasing

questions and concepts, visuals and pre-teaching the vocabulary before a lesson is presented so students are familiar with some of the vocabulary and adapted texts. These accommodations and scaffolds are temporary, and the goal is to gradually increase students’ independence since they already have background knowledge and often know concepts in their native language. ESL teachers teach all ESL-specific classes and provide pull-out and push-in services as well as classroom consultation. In addition, the ESL teacher administers language proficiency tests to students who have l e a rn e d a la n g u a g e other than English as their first language. One Carroll ESL teacher, M onic a De L a Garza, transitioned from being a parent of students in the program to now teaching as a part of the ESL team. De La Garza and her daughters speak Spanish at home, and they were in the ESL program from Pre-K through 2nd grade and 1st through 5th grade. De L a Garza remembers having a great experience as a parent of students in the program, from being involved as a parent volunteer to having good communication with the ESL teacher and classroom teacher. “The ESL teachers were always willing to help my girls by providing extra support with visuals, games and sometimes tutorials to help them succeed at school,” De La Garza says. The ESL teachers are members of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee and maintain the paperwork associated with this committee. All ESL teachers have ESL endorsements or state certifications and have training in administration of the tests. “My favorite part about working with ESL kids is making them feel good at school, letting them know that everything is going to be okay, and that they are capable and special because they speak two languages,” De La Garza says. “Seeing their progress is so rewarding and makes me so happy.” INSIDE CARROLL • 13




Across its 11 campuses, Carroll ISD is home to many multi-talented students from a variety of backgrounds. While the UIL athletes and academics shine, quite a few have found other outlets to express themselves. For example, these seven students highlighted in the following pages represent the diversity of interests found among Dragons. Whether wake surfing at a semi-pro level or taking up origami to relax, these students give us a small glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of Carroll kids.

VALENTINA & CAROLINA DI PRIMA - TRILINGUAL JOHNSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Even at the dinner table, there is not one dominant language in the Di Prima house. Johnson Elementary School students Valentina and Carolina Di Prima have no problem keeping up: Both girls are trilingual. “My favorite language to speak is Italian because it is fancy,” says third-grade student Valentina, the oldest of the two. Her younger sister, a first grader, does not agree. “My favorite is Portuguese and one word from French,” Carolina says. The two are fluent in Italian, Portuguese and English – and that list may grow! The first two languages are the direct result of their parents. Their mom is from Brazil and their father is Italian. Both parents speak to the kids in their own first language, but they can all understand each other between the three languages. The Di Prima family moved to Southlake from Florida two years ago. In their short time here, the two girls have become actively involved in gymnastics. Carolina and Valentina both say their teachers find their linguistic abilities amazing. It certainly comes in handy when they visit their relatives, as Portuguese and Italian are the first languages for their respective grandparents. While the two girls are under 10 and already incredibly ahead in the language department, French and German may be next on the list to learn, according to their dad. 16 • INSIDE CARROLL

ALEX BAKER - ORIGAMI ROCKENBAUGH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Requiring intense attention to detail and painstaking accuracy, origami is not the first hobby that comes to mind for an elementary student. However, as far as Rockenbaugh Elementary School student Alex Baker is concerned, the craft is a method of relaxation. “I started in third grade,” Alex explains. “We did an art project with cranes. Now, I just look in origami books and learn how to make new origami. The biggest project I’ve done is a dragon.” Despite his passion for the Japanese-inspired art form, math is actually his favorite class in school. When he isn’t crafting new origami projects, he also enjoys sewing. He makes stuffed animals that he stuffs and stitches up himself, and he once sewed a Russian doll. Alex is truly able to engage both sides of his brain, as he is also learning soccer and guitar. With all of these activities and a house full of brothers, Alex’s mom believes that origami is his way of winding down and focusing. That said, the art form can be tricky, but Alex has a way to navigate around its challenges and try again later. “If I get to where I’m like ‘I can’t do this,’ I just move on to something else,” he says.


ADAM YAMOUT - FENCING DURHAM INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL When it comes to sports, Durham Intermediate School student Adam Yamout has tried his fair share. However, none could compare to one he chose to pursue: fencing. “I’ve always wondered about fencing,” he says. “I heard my friends talking about it being on the Olympics. After that, I did some research and found Golden Blade Fencing here in Southlake.” For Adam, fencing is about far more than athleticism. It’s about intellect and the mental game of reading your competitor’s every move. He likens it to chess, where you must think several moves ahead. Additionally, he enjoys the fact that there is more than one way to achieve your goal. “My favorite part about fencing is that it is unpopular,” Adam says. “I also like how there are so many ways to score.” Adam started fencing about a year and a half ago. Now, at 11 years old, he is training for two hours per session, three times every week. His next goal is to master Italian footwork, as he primarily uses French footwork now. When he isn’t training, Adam enjoys learning about circuitry and has even assembled a computer. In school, his favorite class is math, but he largely attributes his enjoyment of the subject to his teacher.


ARNAV RANA - ARCHERY OLD UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL As archery competitors all around him finish shooting at their targets, Old Union Elementary School student Arnav Rana is still going. He has two minutes to shoot three arrows, and he takes up every second of that time, carefully calculating his next shot. “I have focus now,” Arnav says of archery. “I used to get distracted a lot, but it just really helped me become disciplined.” Arnav hopes to one day compete in the Olympics. He is part of the Junior Olympics Archery Development program and is making progress toward earning all of his pins. He recently earned his first Outdoor pin for obtaining the required amount of points in outdoor competition. This didn’t come easy. “Outdoor is hard for me,” Arnav admits. “The wind speed and direction is really hard to deal with.” There aren’t many archery training facilities nearby, so travel alone is time consuming for the Rana family. When he isn’t working on his aim and form, Arnav is trying out different sports, such as swimming. In school, his favorite subject is math, and he says he already knows math at the next grade level. His skill for calculating comes in handy at the range, as he calmly calculates his points and time before releasing his next arrow.


ZANIA KARIM - VIOLIN EUBANKS INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL Last summer, Zania Karim and her family moved to Southlake. Since then, Zania has quickly adjusted to her new school and has brought her passion for music with her. “I’ve been playing violin since I was four and a half,” she says.“ In Pre-K my friend brought her violin to show and tell and I thought it was cool. I asked for a violin for my fifth birthday.” Now working with a private instructor as well as doing group performances and workshops, Zania is playing her way through Suzuki violin books, a curriculum that teaches violinists by ear. “What makes Suzuki different is you don’t read notes, you learn by ear by listening to the song until you become 100 percent familiar with the song and then learn it by ear, piece by piece,” she explains. Currently on book four of 10, Zania plans to continue going all the way through Suzuki’s curriculum. She’s working on a piece by Vivaldi, but is quick to say that Mozart is her favorite. Despite not even being in middle school yet, Zania is already eyeing some lofty colleges. “From when I started, I’ve had my college choices laid out for the music programs,” Zania says. “I want to either become a music teacher or something involved with music.” INSIDE CARROLL • 21





PERRY MORRISON WAKE SURFER CARROLL HIGH SCHOOL At 7 years old, some kids are just taking the training wheels off their bikes. For Perry Morrison, 7 was when he first started wake surfing. Now going into 10th grade at Carroll High, Perry’s passion for water sports is paying off. “I think it’s an emerging sport,” he says. “People are starting to see how wakeboarding is affecting their bodies and they are moving to wake surfing because it’s still fun but not as hard on your body.” By age 11, Perry was actively competing in wake surfing events. By age 12, he was sponsored by Tigé Boats. While surfing for Tigé Boats, Perry attends photo shoots, sports their brand and participates in Tigé Tuesdays, where he helps introduce people without access to a boat to the sport, free of charge. The event also features raffles for wake surfing boards and other fundraising opportunities. During his time working Tigé Tuesdays, Perry has helped raise over $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. With six sponsors total, it’s safe to say Perry is making a name for himself in the sport. When it comes to school, he works hard to stay on top of things so he can get out to the lake. Even then, his favorite school subject, scuba diving, keeps him in his aquatic comfort zone.




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CARROLL CULTURE Carroll ISD Has A Club for Almost Every Interest



ove puppets? There’s a club for that. Would you rather circle barrels at high speeds while perched atop a horse? Carroll High School has you covered. For students in Carroll ISD, whatever their hobbies or interests may be, there’s likely an outlet for them.

EUBANKS INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL PUPPET CLUB Carroll ISD is full of unique and innovative clubs and student groups, but maybe none quite as unique as one club that has taken Eubanks Intermediate by storm: the EIS Puppet Club. Founded over a decade ago in 2007 by EIS music teacher Megan Von Dreau, the Puppet Club has taken flight on campus and has become increasingly more popular with each passing year, with almost 200 student members since its origin. In the 2018-2019 group, led by sponsors Megan Von Dreau, Sheri Merrit, and Debbie Copeland, the club had 30 students participating and are definitely nearing their capacity. “The students have immense pride in their creations, as they should,” Von Dreau says. “These puppets are hard to make!” During the fall semester the club meets in the art


room once a week, constructing their puppets from the ground up. In the spring semester the club meetings move to the music room, where the students begin to learn and rehearse their show music. The students start these rehearsals without their puppets so they can work on great singing and do vocal warmups, read sheet music and learn two-part songs. From there, they integrate the puppets into the rehearsals and learn how to work them and express motions and movements. Von Dreau says here favorite shows to watch the kids perform are almost always at the elementary schools. The littlest Dragons love the puppets and laugh and scream at them through almost the entire show. “Our students feed off that energy and the show gets sillier and sillier,” Von Dreau says. “It’s absolutely uncontrollable magic. You have to see it to believe it.” In addition to regular performances at elementary schools and their own campus, the Puppet Club made a special appearance at one of last year’s Board Meetings, honoring the CISD Board of Trustees with puppets that were made to look just like them. This club has been such a fun addition to the Eubanks Intermediate campus, all while encouraging responsibility, creativity and a sense of belonging in

RODEO CLUB these students. “The best part of this club is the voice it gives to our students,” Von Dreau says. “It is a place to belong, and truly be whatever and whoever you want to be.”

“Joining Carroll Bass Team was an easy choice for me,” Watts says. “I love to fish, so getting the chance to fish competitively and hang out with my buddies sounded pretty awesome to me.”



After swapping fish stories with students for the last several years, Carroll High School teacher and coach Aaron Lineweaver realized there seemed to be enough interest to start a fishing club for Carroll students. After hosting an interest meeting to a packed room, Lineweaver took the next step with the administration at Carroll High School to solidify this new opportunity for students. “Mr. (PJ) Giamanco, was more than supportive of this idea. He understood how important it is for kids to be connected to something positive,” Lineweaver adds. Team members do not have to have a boat to join the club. The Carroll Bass Team plans to host pond and bank fishing tournaments for anyone interested, but there will be more competitive opportunities for anglers that want to take their fishing to the next level. Lineweaver and his assistant, Nathan Butler, plan on entering the Carroll Bass Team in the Texas High School Bass Association. The TSHBA hosts regional and state fishing tournaments for high school anglers. Winning teams in these tournaments can win scholarship money to put towards college. Many DFW schools already have teams, and the competition is very tough in the area. “What makes me the proudest is there is now another opportunity for kids that don’t necessarily play a UIL sport,” Lineweaver says. “Secondly, I’ve noticed that fishing breaks down communication barriers between kids and coaches or teachers. You can have a conversation about fishing and see the excitement in their eyes.” For students like Evan Watts, this is just another opportunity to do something he already loves.

The Carroll High School Rodeo Club consists of students who have a love for the long-standing tradition of rodeo in Texas. To compete, team members must also join the North Texas High School Rodeo Association. This Association is comprised of hundreds of students from over 70 school districts in Texas who compete in weekly rodeo events throughout the year, including barrel racing, pole bending, bronc riding, team roping, steer un-decorating, goat tying, steer wrestling, chute dogging and bull riding. Membership is open to any student in 9th-12th grade and the Rodeo Club does not require members to have their own horse. The team competes over a 9-month season with points awarded to participating students each week based on performance. The season culminates in a Finals Rodeo where the top point earners in each event represent themselves and their school as they compete against each other for final rankings and awards. Though event points are awarded individually, the Rodeo Club also earns school points and very much operates as a team, supporting and encouraging each other throughout the year. The 2018-2019 school year was a year of firsts for this Club. In January, two members of the Rodeo Club placed in the top 10 in the barrel-racing event during a single weekend which has not happened in the Club’s history and in May, Carroll ISD was represented for the first time at the North Texas High School Finals Rodeo by Club member Sophia Valdez. This was a huge accomplishment. Out of over 70 Texas school districts that compete in NTHSRA, Sophia finished her barrel-racing season in 4th place overall (out of 80 or more riders). She was the only junior in the top six barrel racing INSIDE CARROLL • 27

Chinese language skills with visiting native parents as well as when the club performs at local Chinese community events, such as at Southlake Lunar Festival. Every two years, the club hosts exchange students from Wuzhong, Jiangsu Province in China. Annually, Chinese Club activities culminate in the annual Chinese Speech and Talent Contest, where students showcase their Chinese language and Chinese cultural performance skills to compete for championship titles, judged by native judges. Four of Carroll’s champions have advanced to win the southern U.S. Chinese Bridge Speech and Talent Contest Competition, organized by Hanban Cultural Promotion Office of Bejing, and represented the U.S. in the World Chinese Bridge Speech and Talent Competition in Kunming, Yunnan, China. From simple friendship to international glory, CHS Chinese Club brings our students a unique perspective and a place to belong.

ASL CLUB finalists. During the 2019-2020 school year, the Rodeo Club intends to increase funding, participate in various service days and, of course, continue to support each other as the new season kicks off. Be on the lookout for this student group racing into a new school year!



According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 15% of all American adults report having some sort of hearing disability. The Carroll American Sign Language (ASL) club is hoping to find ways to better understand and also assist this population. The ASL Club, sponsored by Danita Ayala, meets every two weeks and plans unique events such as Silent Dinners, Deaf Chat, and other “sound off” activities such as movies and games. These opportunities allow the club members to interact and learn from members of the deaf community. The club also spends time volunteering in the community by taking part in The Dragon Event, Relay for Life, Miracle League and other volunteer opportunities.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year the Muslim Student Association has undertaken many projects in efforts to help the Muslim and Southlake community. Many of these projects were donation based, engaging the entire participant base, such as the Holiday Angel Donation Drive in partnership with Whites Chapel, and the TSA worker care packages during the government shutdown. The MSA took part in cultural events such as Celebrate Southlake and the Carroll Culture Fest hosted by the Bollywood Dance Club. The core members and board of the MSA have all worked very hard in organizing these events, and the rest of the club’s participation has been instrumental in making them a success. The MSA is closely tied to the Islamic Center of Southlake and helps out at many of their events, supplying the youth volunteers for religious activities, especially during Ramadan, and interfaith tours and discussions with non-muslim members of the community including local churches and synagogues. During the 2019-2020 school year, the MSA plans on attending and competing at the MIST conference, where high school MSA’s from all over Dallas come together to learn from each other as well as compete in things like sports, art, and teamwork.

MANDARIN CHINESE CLUB Dragon dancing, lion dancing, Chinese kung fu, Chinese yo-yo, and, of course, making Chinese dumplings and Chinese scallion pancakes - the CHS Chinese Club brings Chinese culture to life with hands-on activities. In the Chinese Club, students get to experience Chinese culture, sometimes even beyond what typical Chinese students do in China. Students are able to interact and practice their 28 • INSIDE CARROLL

PING PONG CLUB Co-founded by students Nayan Bandaru and Gino French, the Ping Pong Club has hit the ground running at Carroll Senior High. What started as a group of ping pong-loving students wanting to get together and play against each other, has turned into a lunchtime entertainment for many at CSHS. The Ping Pong Club meets during lunch about once a week, facing off in both singles and doubles games, drawing a crowd of onlookers in the Student Activity Center. The club had roughly 15 members last year, and hopes to increase that number during the 2019-2020 school year, as well as host a schoolwide ping pong tournament for both students and teachers, which will double as a fundraiser for a local charity.

CARROLL CLAY TARGET TEAM Another non-UIL team, the Carroll Clay Target Team, pulled up to their first national competition last summer in Marengo, Ohio. They never expected to leave the complex four days later with the title of Scholastic Clay Target Program National Champions. That is exactly what happened for these 10 student-athletes. After four days of an intense competition full of ups and downs, the Carroll Clay Target Team brought home the team’s first national championship. “The entire event felt like a rollercoaster,” team member Tyler Hall states. “We were up, then we were down, and then the dust settled, and we were on top of the standings. It was crazy.” Over 2,700 athletes from 26 states participated in the weeklong event with over 1.25 million competition shots fired. Athletes from around the country competed in events such as trap, sporting clays, and skeet events. The Carroll team won first place in the High School Varsity Division of Sporting Clays and fourth place in Skeet. Nicholas Godfrey shot a perfect 200 for 200 in the tournament’s skeet competition. Members of the Clay Target Team put in countless hours of preparation in at local shooting facilities during the school year and over the summer months. Senior Spencer Fairchild recalled how all of the practices not only made their skills grow, but bonded the team together. “Beginning freshman year, I was practicing five or six times a week. We would race to the shooting range,” Fairchild says. “It was fun to practice with your friends but even more importantly, it helped us grow as a team and made us want to do well for each other, not just an individual award.” For sophomore Sydney Nickel, being a part of the Clay Target Team has meant quite a bit more than just a title of National Champion. “Before I joined this team, I was quiet and kept to myself,” Nickel says. “These people have brought the best out of me. This community is so positive, and that positivity has pushed me to be a better person. Clay Target Team has taught me responsibility and allowed me to chase after something I am passionate about.”

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Carroll ISD’s Journey to Cultural Competence


eaders in Carroll Independent School District know that cultural competence does not happen overnight. Ensuring that classrooms are safe places for all students requires self-reflection, cultural awareness and a strong commitment to learning and valuing the differences in others. “Culturally competent schools incorporate diversity into their policies and everyday practices,” says Superintendent David Faltys. “We are committed in CISD to making sure we train our staff, educate our parents, prepare our students and follow best practices when it comes to embracing differences and creating a culture that values diversity. It also means listening to one another more and changing how we interact as Carroll Dragons.” Culturally responsive schools provide professional development for staff and collect feedback from diverse groups in the community to ensure that students are well represented; they promote hiring practices that help ensure a commitment to diversity and work to close achievement gaps for students in minority populations. Thankfully, CISD does not have large achievement gaps to address, though school officials say they closely monitor the academic performance of individual students. Instead, the district is primarily focused on the way students in diverse populations are being treated day-to-day. Kindness and anti-bullying campaigns are not enough, according to some parents who spoke at a CISD School Board meeting last fall. They appealed to school leaders to address daily interactions or microaggressions they say their children have experienced silently for years. “Last November’s special board meeting was called specifically to hear the voices of our parents,” says School Board President Sheri Mills. “I will forever be changed by the people who spoke at this meeting, as the stories they brought forward are hard and painful. It was their courage to bring forward these stories that started our effort to focus on cultural competence. “This meeting was followed by a special meeting in January of 2019 where we listened to the thoughts and concerns of the students of Carroll and again the Trustees were moved,” Mills adds. “This meeting, too, helped us stay on task to review our Code of Conduct and create opportunities and programs that better promote getting to know your neighbor. These two meetings resonated with all School Board members, and we tasked the Administration to create something meaningful.” As a result, Carroll school officials created a comprehensive Cultural Competence Action Plan 32 • INSIDE CARROLL

to strengthen the Student Code of Conduct, create diversity advisory councils, offer training for all staff and create opportunities for students to celebrate the unique cultures, backgrounds and experiences they bring to the Dragon family. In addition, Dr. Faltys created a Leadership and Culture Coach position to work with staff and meet face-to-face with students. Creating opportunities for ongoing dialogue and conversations about diversity is key to understanding one another and moving the district toward cultural competence.

DIVERSITY COUNCILS PROVIDE FEEDBACK The School Board recently appointed 63 parents, students and staff members to serve on a District Diversity Council (DDC) with another 120 individuals invited to participate on individual Campus Diversity Councils (CDC). The DDC is a culturally-informed advisory committee that is representative of the students, staff and parents in Carroll ISD when it comes to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. “We were overwhelmed by not only the number of individuals who applied to participate in this effort, but also by the caliber of applicants wanting to help CISD,” says Janet McDade, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. “Our district and campus diversity councils are comprised of some amazing folks who represent very diverse populations in our school district and community. We are working hand in hand with them to enact change and to make sure Carroll ISD is a safe and secure place for ALL students.” McDade says the district received more than 180 applications from individuals interested in serving

on the district’s Diversity Council - just one piece of CISD’s overall comprehensive Cultural Competence Action Plan. Formation of the DDC was part of the 2015 Strategic Plan, but the timeline was accelerated after videos of Southlake teens chanting inappropriate racial slurs were posted to social media. The advisory councils are just one part of a multi-faceted response by school leaders who have been meeting face-toface with students and inviting parent/staff input on the topics of cultural competence and diversity. McDade helps lead the DDC with Tyisha Nelson, Executive Director of Special Programs. In turn, two citizens help co-chair the DDC - Eric Ransom and Pam Francis. In December 2018, Trustees approved the Council framework, ensuring that more than half of the DDC would be appointed by campus principals and represent families in each of the district’s 11 attendance zones. In addition, each School Board member appointed someone to serve on the Council, with additional at-large appointments by the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

provide initial feedback on a proposed “census” document. The goal of the census would be for the district to gather information about Dragon families to better understand student populations and the school community, to identify and eliminate barriers to student success, inclusion and well-being and to establish effective programs and reallocate resources where they are needed most. The DDC reviewed a sample census questionnaire shared from the Peel School District Board in Canada. CISD does not plan to give an identical questionnaire, but hopes, instead, to have the Diversity Council provide input into the questions, purpose and use of a local questionnaire and data. The questionnaires are broken down into age-appropriate survey instruments. The DDC will visit this topic again in future meetings, with the goal of conducting a confidential, but not anonymous census of students and Dragon families in the Fall of 2019.

The DDC’s charge is to: • Promote the goal of cultural competence within CISD. • Facilitate communication and understanding among different constituencies, and serve as a community resource. • Advocate for and support culturally competent and responsive programs and policies. • Engage students, staff and faculty to collect feedback on cultural competence in CISD. • Propose strategies for reaching cultural competence. “I have attended the DDC meetings, and have been moved by the lessons and the content,” Mills says. “The conversations we have had in these meetings have been meaningful and have already created an impact on this past school year, and will continue to give our students better opportunity to embrace our cultural differences. I personally think the Carroll ISD plan is something that should be modeled at other school districts across the state.”

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT REVISED During the first four meetings of the DDC, school officials conducted activities to help build trusting relationships and identify implicit biases. The group eventually spent hours reviewing the Student Code of Conduct and the law in an effort to strengthen the current language and consequences for incidents of hate speech, racial slurs or targeting an individual or group based on their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability. School officials say they believe the stronger language, which was adopted by the School Board in August, will help ensure consistency in applying consequences for such actions districtwide. “With the help of the District Diversity Council, we have made impactful changes to the Student Code of Conduct that will ensure protections for all students and student groups,” McDade says. DDC members also participated in a process to

SIX SUBCOMMITTEES FORMED Members of the DDC were asked to sign up to participate in one of six subcommittees that were identified by the members. The subcommittees include: • Celebration of Culture, Bias Reduction & Awareness • Communications & Outreach • Teacher/Staff Recruitment • Curriculum & Instruction • Student-Led Education & Policy • Professional Development McDade says each subcommittee has been working throughout the summer months to develop SMART Goals for their subject area. These goals will be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Ideally, the DDC will continue its work in the fall, coming up with goals to incorporate into the Cultural Competence Action Plan. From there, the plan will be turned over to the Strategic Planning Committee for consideration and integration into the CISD 2025 Strategic Plan. “Becoming a culturally competent school district won’t happen overnight,” Dr. Faltys says. “We know this isn’t a problem unique to Carroll or to Southlake, but we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure that all of our students feel welcome and have a smile on their face when they walk across that stage at graduation.” INSIDE CARROLL • 33

CARROLL HISTORY The Legacy of George Dawson Celebrated by His Namesake Campus


early 18 years after his death, author case for a student, staff member, or parent to be George Dawson remains an iconic repunaware of Mr. Dawson’s triumph. In that story is a resentation of the impact education and message of absolute grit and resilience to make a literacy can have on a person’s life. In difference, first for others, then for yourself. And the one middle school in Southlake, students and underpinnings of that grit, in the face of absolute staff still gather with his family often to celebrate adversity? Complete positivity. It’s a beautiful story his birthday and to comto tell.” m e m o rate a life we ll According to lived. h i s to r i c a l re co rd s , A bust of Dawson sits Dawson was born on in the foyer of his nameJanuary 19, 1898, in sake campus, George Marshall, Texas, the Dawson Middle School, grandson of a slave where more than 660 who never got to seventh and eighth attend school during graders attend school. those early years. The Copies of his book can oldest of five siblings, be checked out in the Dawson repor tedly school library, and there began working in his is an award named after father’s fields at age him and presented by four, learning to do family members each the work of a grown May. adult man by age 10. Campus Principal He witnessed unfathRyan Wilson says the omable atrocities staff at DMS works hard against African Amerito celebrate and comcans while growing up m e m o r a te D aws o n ’s in the 20th century, life and commitment to including the lynching education. Parents are of a close friend for a told of Mr. Dawson’s crime he did not comstory during parent orimit. entation, and students Despite working watch not one, but two to put seven children videos of his appearthrough school, DawGeorge Dawson a n ce s o n th e O p ra h son was illiterate. He Winfrey show for an learned to read and inspirational start to their seventh grade year. write at age 98 in an adult education program At the suggestion of a student, the CISD offered by the Dallas Independent School District. School Board voted when the school opened in Officials say it took Dawson only three months to 2002 to honor Dawson by naming the campus learn his alphabet and to begin to read and write. He after him. Nearly two decades later, the name would later go on to earn his GED and co-author a George Dawson is still revered in a town that is book about his experiences. All seven of his children implementing programs to embrace diversity graduated from college. and support inclusion. Some people called Dawson “America’s favorite “It’s a great honor doing anything and everyposter child for literacy.” He gained national recogthing we can to keep Mr. Dawson’s tremendous nition in the late 1990s through talk show appearstory alive in the hearts of our campus commuances and published books based on his life. nity,” Wilson says. “We wish it never to be the Locally, Dawson was especially revered as an


CARROLL HISTORY inspiration to the Southlake community after being invited to come speak to middle school students. Former CISD student Robs Lawrence is credited with having heard Dawson speak in Southlake about his life and becoming an author. Lawrence, the son of then School Board Trustee Jerry Lawrence, later submitted Dawson’s name as a potential option for Carroll ISD’s newest middle school. An article published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram at the time captured Dawson’s response to the honor. “I’m surprised they’d name a school after me,” he said. “You know, with me being a colored man and all. But it’s real nice, real nice. It is for the children. Not for me. “It’s better than meeting Oprah,” Dawson went on to say. “It’s an honor. I just hope they make it pretty, with bricks and grass and trees. Is it gonna be mixed? Are they gonna have different color teachers there? I hope so.” His autobiography, Life Is So Good (co-written with Richard Glaubman), was published in 2000 and received attention in the national media. It received a Christopher Award for non-fiction in 2001. This award recognizes media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” The goal of the award is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence large audiences positively. It was during this time he came to speak to some Southlake middle school students. Dawson appeared on Oprah and told his story in the June 2001 issue of the inspirational magazine Guideposts. “If he can do it, then it should motivate us all,” has become an enduring motto for those who celebrate the life and legacy of George Dawson. According to his autobiography, Dawson said, “Life is so good, and I do believe it is getting better.” Dawson suffered a stroke and eventually died at the age of 103 on July 5, 2001. Students at his namesake school will always be reminded of the fiery spirit and determination he showed while learning to read and write. Prior to his death, he was awarded two honorary doctorate degrees, one from New School University in New York and one from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. January birthday celebrations in the past have included a “read in” with kids helping to read “Life Is So Good” from cover to cover between the school hours of 8:40 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Wilson said the students and staff enjoy cake, and

have often been joined by members of Dawson’s extended family. “We’ve stayed close with members of the family each year, intentionally beginning and ending our year with their presence on campus,” Wilson says. “This past year we also connected with Mr. Dawson’s co-author, Richard Glaubman, a retired educator living outside of Seattle. The kids enjoyed asking him questions via Facetime, which was fun.” In May each year, one boy and one girl are given the George Dawson Spirit Award. Family members are part of that presentation ceremony, too. This important award is bestowed on two students identified as possessing the same admirable characteristics as the school’s namesake. And on the last contract day of the school year, DMS campus administrators close out the year by placing flowers on Mr. Dawson’s gravesite. That’s a tradition they started 10 years ago and continue to this day. “It’s a heartwarming way to end the year, reflecting on the remarkable story of our great namesake,” Wilson adds.



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CARROLL HISTORY 100 Years Strong: The Carroll School



arroll ISD has earned its reputation for academic excellence and athletic prowess across the nation, and a quick trip down Southlake Boulevard reveals a sure sign of the pride the community feels for a powerhouse district that took 100 years to build: Those ubiquitous and instantly recognizable Carroll Dragon stickers emblazoned on the back of nearly every SUV in town.

In 1898, an educator known by the name of Burrell “Burl” Carroll settled in Texas and spent the next two decades earning a reputation as a fine teacher and principal throughout the small towns of Tarrant County. Those schools, which included Lonesome Dove and White’s Chapel, consolidated in 1917 to form Texas Common School District No. 99, later renamed Carroll Common School District.

But back when the district’s first school was built in 1919, there were no Suburbans or even a Southlake Boulevard to cruise down. Residents in the poor, rural, unincorporated area of Southlake would only have dreamt of owning a Model T and driving to the big city to watch Charlie Chaplin in a silent movie. Long before the days of Harkins Theatre and Southlake Town Square, the Sears Roebuck catalog reigned supreme and kids wanted nothing more than Teddy bears and Tinkertoys. Back then, Woodrow Wilson led a nation still reeling from the after effects of World War I and women longed for the right to vote. Even amidst the challenges of 100 years ago, Southlake residents pulled together and built the Carroll School using what they had to work with: brick brought in from west of Fort Worth by mule wagon, old-growth pine from East Texas and a resolve to improve the lives of those around them through quality education.

The first bond of $7,500 passed to purchase five acres of sandy soil and construct a modest building in “vernacular” style. The original 1919 portion of the school, built in a T-shape, included two rooms separated by just a chalkboard and another room down the center. That little schoolhouse on a hill “is as plain, sturdy and as practical as the farmers who built it,” once said Mary Ann King, the granddaughter of B. Carroll, the man for whom the district is named. It was the first brick building in a town whose cotton mills, churches, blacksmith shops and country stores were wood-framed or made from local stone or log. But it was more than an eight-grade school with 125 students, six teachers and a three-member board of trustees. The Carroll School served as birthplace of the City of Southlake, a central hub for the comings and goings of small town – elections, fall carnivals and football games played on a hand-sprigged field just 80 yards long.


Members of the class of 2019 join Superintendent Dr. David Faltys for a photo in front of the district’s first school, 100 years after it was built.

From high on a hill, students watched as construction workers used mules to complete Highway 114. The same roadway later served as a backdrop for Bonnie and Clyde. Just a few miles away sat Lonesome Dove Baptist Church, the name made famous by author Larry McMurtry after he used it for his then untitled trail driving book. And during World War II, as troop convoys made their way down Hwy 114, students stood outside the school to cheer them on. After the war ended, a fourth classroom was added in 1945 and two more in 1951. In 1959, additional classrooms for ninth graders were added as well as the first football stadium ever to be overrun by Dragons. By 1965, the three remaining high school grades were added to complete 12 grades. The fledgling school saw its first graduating class of 24 seniors, its first district football championship and – long before the days of gargantuan mums – its first Carroll Homecoming.


Burrell “B.” Carroll

“In this throwaway society, it is important to have an anchor to the past. It takes tangible things, something to touch, to remind all of us of the history that has gone before.” — Mary Ann King, the granddaughter of B. Carroll, to Carroll ISD trustees in 2006

In the coming decades, the district surged in size as families moved to Southlake, drawn to the exceptional educational opportunities. The Carroll School continued to serve students as an art studio, warehouse and even a bus transportation office before taking its last breath in 2001. These days it houses supplies for the maintenance-department, late-20th-century classroom furniture and a century’s worth of stories within its walls. The Texas Historical Commission recognized the value of Southlake’s only historic building with a historical marker in 2010, but its future remains uncertain. “With all the growth and changes to Southlake and the surrounding areas, it is remarkable that this little rural brick school still stands,” says Connie Cooley, president of the Southlake Historical Society, which displayed an exhibit about the school at Southlake Town Hall this summer. CISD still owns the school, and the society hopes the district will always protect it. As for now that little schoolhouse rests at the top of hill, with sweeping views of the landscape around it changing with the times. Long gone are the horse farms, two-lane roads and little houses surrounded by green pastures. But the community spirit remains. One thing that will never change is Southlake’s strong generational commitment to the power of education. INSIDE CARROLL • 39

CHEERING EACH OTHER ON! A Look Into a Dragon Family… the Lydick Family

It’s just past noon on a Thursday and Emily Lydick has not only gotten all six of her children up, dressed, fed and out the door to various Carroll Independent School District (CISD) campuses, she’s also already put in a volunteer shift at GRACE, a beloved local nonprofit offering relief for families struggling toward self-sufficiency. Emily discovered GRACE’s free medical clinic a few years ago while dropping off a donation and decided to do a community project. This was in the midst of her returning to nursing school to become an RN. Today, she sees uninsured patients for everything from wellness checks to chronic disease management. It’s hard to imagine how she manages it all, but for Emily, it’s just another day. “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it,” she says with a smile.

SETTLING DOWN IN SOUTHLAKE Emily and her husband, Scott, met as coeds at The University of Texas at Austin and married in 2000, just months after graduating. By 2005, with two children under their belt, they made their way from Dallas to Southlake to be more centrally located for Scott’s work. Emily recalls their real estate agent singing the praises of the neighborhood they were looking to settle in called Timarron. From its friendly residents to central location, the neighborhood was a winner for the Lydick family. But it wasn’t until years – and four children – later that the Lydicks would realize how much the strength of the school district, Carroll ISD, would mean to their family. INSIDE CARROLL • 41

KEEPING SIX BALLS IN THE AIR Fast-forward to 2019 and Scott’s a managing director and investment team lead at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and Emily is the managing director of the Lydick home. Complimenting Emily’s work with GRACE, Scott is on the board for The Center for Transforming Lives, an organization focused on anti-poverty programs such as shelters, early-childcare, and financial coaching for women and children in Tarrant County. Their heart for giving has been passed down to their six children. First, there’s Oscar, a junior and avid soccer player at Carroll Senior High School. Oscar played centerback and outside back on the freshman team, then the JV team at Carroll High. He’s looking forward to another year of Carroll soccer. “He loves Coach Cottrell. He’s been a great addition to the Carroll soccer program,” says Emily of the school’s new coach, Aaron Cottrell, who led the perennial Dragon powerhouse for the first time during the 2018-2019 school year. Oscar’s school activities extend beyond soccer, as he is a member of the Hope Squad, a school-based, peer-to-peer suicide prevention program CISD rolled out for secondary schools during the 2018-2019 school year. The program is part of The Resiliency Project, a districtwide project covering seven different areas of student health and mental wellness. As soon as classes got rolling last year, the student body was asked to nominate students they would feel comfortable talking to if they were struggling – those they deemed caring and trustworthy. Oscar was one of them.


School advisors approved the nomination and Oscar trained to watch for at-risk students, provide friendship, identify suicide-warning signs and seek help from adults. They’re taught to notice, reach out and assist fellow students, who can identify the Hope Squad by the T-shirts they wear to school once a week, emblazoned with a lifeguard-like motif. “They’re like the eyes and ears of what is going on, who’s having problems and who’s stressed out,” Emily says. “It’s been extremely successful.” The Lydick’s second child, Hermella, is a freshman at Carroll High School. Adopted from Ethiopia at almost 11 years old, Hermella didn’t speak any English at all when she arrived in the United States. Emily jumped feet first into the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC), and the school district quickly worked to get Hermella set up in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program to help her learn basic communication skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing – so she could participate equitably in school. “The first week, the ESL teacher went with her to PE. If she wanted to play the PE game, then she could, but she didn’t have to,” Emily explains. “Then they went to Art, and did a little art project, just the two of them. Then they went to music, and then they went to the library. So they did a little tour every day just to slowly acclimate her because it was such a culture shock. They really worked with me to find a schedule.” By the end of the school year, Hermella was going to school full-time with plenty of support from her ESL teacher. But it wasn’t easy at first. Hermella not only had to learn English, she had to learn a different calendar and time system than what she was used to

in Ethiopia, which has a 13-month calendar and is now in year 2012. “The school, the principal – who was phenomenal – and the ESL teacher were like, ‘Let’s figure out what works for you and for her,’” Emily says. That slow and steady approach worked for Hermella. Five years later, Hermella has tested out of the ESL program. Today, her big focus is running crosscountry for Carroll High. Also a freshman at Carroll High School, third child Bryce is also a passionate soccer player. He plays on Carroll High’s freshman team as well as club soccer, and in what little spare time he has, he takes piano lessons. He is looking forward to the drone club at Carroll High School. Next up is Max, the Lydick’s seventh grader at Dawson Middle School, who, in addition to playing trumpet in the band and the guitar for fun, hopes to play defense in soccer as well. You may see Max flying one of his remote control planes behind Rockenbaugh Elementary School. All three Lydick boys serve as referees for the Grapevine-Southlake Soccer Association. The Lydick’s fifth child, Nevaeh, is also a seventh grader at Dawson Middle School. She, too, was adopted from Ethiopia. She’s very involved in theater and dance at LifeSong Studio, an organization whose mission is to “shape hearts through the arts.” Nevaeh performed in “Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit” and “The Wizard of Oz” before landing her most recent part as Florinda, one of the stepsisters in “Into the Woods,” a role that required her to sing as well. So does the lone artist get lost in the Lydick family? Not at all. When she has a production, the whole family loads up in the car and turns out en masse to

applaud her. Last but not least is Kidist, a fifth grader at Eubanks Intermediate School, and also a – you guessed it! – soccer player. “She’s the one that everybody knows,” Emily says. “She’s so outgoing. She can make a friend out of anybody.” She was also adopted from Ethiopia just after she turned three years old. Fortunately, because English was her second language, she qualified for the district’s preschool program as soon as she arrived stateside. This past spring break, all the Lydicks made the trek back to Ethiopia to visit their homeland. As a team, the Lydicks are all heavily involved in White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where they’ve been members for several years. After visiting a few other area churches, they all came to the same realization. “White’s Chapel feels like home,” Emily says. On Sundays, Scott helps teach 5th and 6th grade students, Emily teaches elementary students, Oscar is one of the co-teachers for eighth grade boys and Hermella gets in on the act by working with the two year olds. Even Nevaeh got her start in theater through the church’s Arts Academy, where she performed in plays as a fourth and fifth grader. Emily, Oscar and Bryce also make a difference through Scholars and Athletes Serving Others (SASO), an inclusive mother/ son service organization. One thing’s for sure about the Lydicks: Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing and no matter who they’re doing it for, they’re together – cheering for each other, both on the field and off.


BOND PROJECT UPDATE Carroll Senior High to Experience Significant Ongoing Construction


ond Program Manager John Haugen has a saying, “It’s gotta get ugly before it can be beautiful.” That quote may certainly apply to Carroll Senior High School during the 2019-2020 school year as three different contractors work to complete projects as part of the 2017 Bond Program approved by voters. The CISD Aquatics Center sits on three-anda-half acres on the northeast corner of the CSHS property. The center, which originally opened in 2001, closed in late July for a $5 million renovation project that won’t be substantially complete until later this fall. “This is the most significant rehab of the aquatics center and the pool components since the facility opened,” Haugen says. “We will be resurfacing the pool, adding lights, changing out the HVAC and rebuilding the entire pump system.” The project includes a security vestibule to control public access to the pool deck and the second-floor seating area. Restroom and locker room renovations are also scheduled for completion. Additional parking has been added on the north side of the academic wing and major construction has started on the new music center on the northwest corner of the property. In the back of CSHS, the contractor was finally able to wrap up the baseball/softball complex – a project which took about six months longer than first anticipated. “Having the wettest year in DFW history certainly didn’t help the timeline for the baseball/softball project,” said Haugen. The final touches on that project were expected in August. Phase 1 included

turf and fencing; Phase 2 included new bleachers, restrooms, concessions, batting cages and storage space. Work on the new music center got off track temporarily as the design team and school officials reviewed bids and discussed ways to cut costs. The music center project estimate was originally $24 million with another $4 million earmarked in the CSHS budget for work in the existing black box theatre and auditorium. In the end, school officials say they expect the facility to be about $3 million over the original budget, but still within the $208 million approved by voters. “It ’s important that we build this facility to address the space and acoustical needs of the growing band and choir programs,” Haugen says. “We will make up the cost overages in savings from other projects.” Huckabee Architects worked with school officials this past year to design and plan for construction. The project is now slated for completion in the fall of 2020. It will include a new storm shelter built to ICC 500 code standards to withstand 250 mph winds. Another safety feature ties the art building and the new music center to the existing auditorium/academic building. This will give students indoor access to the entire performing arts area. Haugen said the goal for this project has always been to address space needs and to make the performance hall about sound quality. “The space won’t be complicated or ornate,” Haugen says. “It will be simple, pure – focused on sound. It’s going to be a very unique facility for the K-12 setting.” The building will feature a 700-seat performance

auditorium, band and choir classrooms, storage and office space, restrooms and soundproof practice rooms. Haugen said the music center will seat 500 on the main level and 200 in the balcony. The room shape and layered configuration will give the band and choir programs flexibility for performance and crowd sizes. Based on the new design, the existing road between the art building and the auditorium will go away completely. A new road will be built adjacent to Peytonville and FM 1709 around the front of the new music center and art building, tying into the existing visitor parking lot at the front of the campus. The west entry to CSHS will be transformed

to create a separate and identifiable entry for the gymnasium. Once completed, the band program will have direct access to the new music facility to load instruments and to access practice marching areas in both the student parking lot and on the newly turfed field just west of the CSHS field house. The indoor workout facility in that area, closed in May for renovations and turf replacement. It reopened in early August for student use. The indoor workout facility project included a more durable facade on the face of the building as well as a new standing seam metal roof with a longer life cycle.

2017 Bond Program Storm Shelter


ne of the standout features of the recent capital improvement projects at three of the district’s elementary schools wasn’t even a part of the original Bond 2017 recommendation that went before voters. Carroll school officials say new international building code requirements adopted by the City of Southlake in 2017 resulted in the design and construction of ICC 500 storm shelters that can withstand 250 mph winds. The first three shelters of their kind in the city were completed at Johnson, Carroll and Old Union Elementary Schools. At JES and CES the storm shelter is designed as gymnasiums; at OUES the shelter can be found in the new classroom addition. “The new storm shelters were added to the scope of the school projects after the election,” says Program Manager John Haugen. “They provide an additional level of safety and shelter for staff and students at those campuses during a storm, and create a new standard for CISD construction going forward.” Each shelter features a control room, self-contained water and sanitary systems, shutters to cover windows and storm-rated, solid doors. The structure itself is unique, according to Haugen, because they are built large enough to hold all students and staff at the campus with a foundation, roof and walls that are structurally more sound and can withstand substantial wind impact. Shelters are also being planned at Rockenbaugh and Walnut Grove Elementary Schools, as well as Carroll Senior High School. School officials say six of the district’s 11 campuses will have storm shelters by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Before the next bond program is recommended (possibly in 2022), a citizen’s committee will study options for shelters at the remaining five campuses.

For the 2019-2020 school year, CISD officials worked with campus administrators to develop new safety procedures for sheltering students in a storm. Campuses will practice sheltering in place, as well as sheltering in the new storm shelters. Use of the shelters will depend on the length of time before a pending storm arrives. “We are grateful to have the new state-of-the-art shelters at some of our campuses,” says Superintendent Dr. David Faltys. “We may not be able to absorb the costs of these five shelters in our overall bond program, but our goal is to manage through as best we can, see how much interest we have earned at the end of the bond program, and then use fund balance as needed.” The shelters range from $1.2 to $1.8 million to build. Voters approved $208 million for CISD to complete projects at every facility. While some projects may exceed original cost estimates, others have come under budget. The School Board can determine at the end of the bond program just how much fund balance mig ht b e n e e d e d for unanticipated projec ts like the storm shelters.

BOND PROJECT UPDATE New K-6 Digital Devices to be Introduced this School Year


uring the 2019-2020 school year, Carroll ISD will roll out Phase 2 of the bond program’s device deployment, providing new ipads for elementary students and Dell laptops for intermediate students. Voter approval for the 2017 Bond Program ushered in a new era of technology instruction districtwide, providing uniform devices for all students and helping teachers reduce time spent in the classroom trying to manage personal devices so that they can instead concentrate on the delivery of instruction. Randy Stuart, Executive Director of Technology Services, is leading the effort to increase the number of district-provided devices for Carroll students. He and Project Manager Holly Davis help oversee the $45 million program to increase infrastructure, provide tech support and put devices into the hands of all students. “Our goal is to provide excellent technology resources so that students can learn both effectively and engagingly,” Stuart says.

Stuart says learning tools are more engaging with rich multimedia experiences that allow students to learn more effectively. By providing a device to students, Carroll ISD seeks to give every student a chance to explore new learning methods and personalize their educational experience. The goal is to encourage students to be innovative and think creatively. Carroll ISD’s Digital Dragons program: • Prepares students of today for the world of tomorrow. • Creates conditions for future success by helping students become the types of candidates desired by colleges and employers. • Provides digital resources on devices. • Provides equal access to technology in and out of the classroom. In 2015, the Strategic Planning Committee recommended that CISD adopt a plan to “provide each student and teacher with a mobile device to

This school year, every elementary student (grades K-4) will be assigned their own iPad. The iPads will be kept at school in a locked cabinet in the homeroom teacher’s classroom. “As devices become more and more central to our learning resources it becomes even more use both at school and at home to encourage and support 21st century learning, anytime, anywhere.” (Strategy 3. 3) A Device Selection Committee comprised of students, teachers, administrators, and district curriculum and technology department members researched and tested multiple devices in the spring of 2017. The successful rollout of Dell laptops for all students at secondary schools in August 2018 helped pave the way for planning this year’s K-6 deployment. Stuart has been visiting with parents at campuses and answering questions about the interactive and collaborative nature of device use in the K-6 schools. Common questions from parents were about screen time and online safety. “As a parent, I understand that sometimes children at home waste time on devices playing games or social media,” Stuart says. “The devices that students will use at school are different, and will not be used for gaming or social media.” School officials say all apps will be vetted and approved by three departments. Curriculum and Instruction will review apps for educational value; Special Programs will review apps to ensure they will work with diverse student needs; and Technology will review apps for student privacy and safety. “The district has filtering in place for these devices to block inappropriate sites and to protect our students when they are online,” Stuart adds. “These devices will not change the instructional strategies, a device will never be able to replace a good teacher, however, these devices will remove the barriers for our teachers who have been using devices effectively already but with limited access.” The Instructional Technology Team provided training for all teachers K-12 to help prepare for a technology-rich classroom environment where devices are used effectively and safely. Members of the Technology staff prepared a website to explain facts about the K-6 deployment. School officials began reassuring parents that students would not simply be staring into an iPad screen all day. Instead, the devices will be used to enhance instruction and encourage collaborative learning.

K-4 iPads WIL L NO T: • g o home

• g o on buses

• be use d outside dur ing r ecess • be use d for social me dia

• be use d for non-e ducational g aming or enter tainment K-4 iPads WIL L:

• be stor e d in lock e d cabinets to be char g e d over nig ht in the classr oom • be use d for e ducational pur poses

• be use d for collabor ation • be use d to teach dig ital citiz enship

• be use d to teach 2 1st centur y skills • be use d to cr eate

important to keep them working reliably,” Stuart says. “It is essential to provide the support needed, or technology can quickly become very frustrating. Our campus technicians are great at assisting students and teachers quickly so the learning can stay the focus instead of troubleshooting.” Parents have an online resource to explore topics such as digital citizenship, acceptable use policies, internet safety/security and parent controls. The CISD technology staff encourages parents to set ground rules with their children at home as they learn the responsibility that goes with having an online presence and social media.

#SAFEDRAGON Carroll, City of Southlake Collaborate To Enhance School Safety, Security


he district’s #SAFEdragon program continues to be a model for other schools and districts across the state. Superintendent David Faltys and Assistant Superintendent Julie Thannum were invited to Austin last summer to present Carroll ISD’s comprehensive safety program and messaging to other school administrators. Following highly publicized school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Sante Fe, Texas Carroll officials joined City leaders and elected officials to participate in Mayor Laura Hill’s Task Force on School Safety to study ways to strengthen and support the safety and security of students while at school. The resulting recommendations involve significant changes to enhance CISD’s program during the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.


“The safety and security of our students is the most important thing for us in Carroll ISD,” Dr. Faltys says. “If a student doesn’t feel safe, learning cannot happen. It is our objective to make sure each child is safe physically, socially and emotionally.” As a result of Task Force recommendations, the Crime Control and Prevention District allocated $550,000 to support the implementation of new school safety and security initiatives. The staffing and programs put in place were done in advance of Governor Greg Abbott’s recent announcement that all Texas schools will need to provide threat assessment programs and mental health support to students. Three safety-related bills passed during the 86th Legislative session will also usher in new mandates and limited state funding for districts to address safety.



ADDITIONAL SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS Carroll ISD is fortunate to have a strong partnership with the City of Southlake when it comes to safety/security. Through a 1/8 of a cent crime control sales tax, the city is able to fund an armed school resource officer at every CISD campus. As a result of the additional $550,000 earmarked for school safety by the City of Southlake, the Mayor’s School Safety Task Force recommended hiring three more school resource officers for the 2019-2020 school year. Both Carroll Sr. High School and Carroll High School will receive a second resource officer to serve the nearly 1,400 students at each campus, with the third position being utilized for a supervisory role. This brings the total number of SROs and supervisors assigned to school safety in Carroll ISD to 15. It represents a significant commitment from the voters and city leaders to ensuring students and staff feel safe while at school.

REDUCED ENTRY POINTS In the spring of 2019 the Southlake Police Department conducted building threat assessments at Carroll Senior High and Carroll High schools. The audits or assessments were done to determine how secure the environment is at those campuses before, during and after the school day. Police Chief James Brandon said both campuses fared quite well under the threat assessment/audit, but one of the key takeaways was the need to reduce the number of entrances/exits being used by students through the school day at both campuses. By doing so, school officials and first responders hope to have better controls of the comings/goings at secondary campuses. CISD has significantly increased its video surveillance capabilities since the May 2017 bond program started and will continue to fortify campuses with hard measures that will slow down any intruder or active shooter. Students have ID badges but will now only be able to access about half of the entrances/exits they used to at CSHS and CHS. This makes the campus more manageable for administrators and SROs.

THREAT ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (TAMS) Even before Governor Abbott mandated a threat assessment program for all public school districts, Carroll ISD had researched, identified and implemented a new Threat Assessment Management System or TAMS at every CISD campus. Developed by neighboring Keller ISD, TAMS helps identify students at risk to themselves or others and provides resources and support on an ongoing basis. A team of three caring adults - consisting of a counselor, assistant principal and school resource officer - will be assigned

to each student identified for support in TAMS. The group will be responsible for completing the online assessment, making regular check-ups and filing reports on student transitions. The TAMS team will work with parents to provide resources and support, as well. Officials hope TAMS identifies and prevents students at risk for violence so that intervention strategies can be deployed and future violence prevented. Funding for training and TAMS was provided from the money earmarked by the City of Southlake under the guidance of the Mayor’s School Safety Task Force.

SOCIAL SENTINEL In the spring of 2019 Carroll ISD staff and members of the Southlake Police Department were trained to use a social media monitoring software made possible through funding from the City of Southlake. This alert system tracks public social media posts within a geofenced area (like district facilities, school boundaries and city limits) so that first responders and school administrators can consider threats to others or facilities. The software is managed by a company on the east coast, but immediately alerts school officials and resource officers of alarming social media posts or pictures. Experience shows that students who are a threat to themselves or to others often make public posts about their hurts or anger. Social Sentinel provides alerts so that school officials and resource officers can work with parents to support students at-risk of harmful behaviors.

BULLET-RESISTANT GLAZING The remaining funds given to CISD as part of the Mayor’s School Safety Task Force were earmarked to fortify Carroll Sr. High by adding bullet-resistant glazing in key areas. School officials researched materials and have committed funds from the 2017 bond program to add the bullet-resistant material at other CISD campuses. This work is being done as construction continues at all 15 facilities in the district. The exact placement of this glazing is kept confidential so as not to compromise the integrity of the facility or the students and staff inside.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING Even before Governor Abbott mental health first aid training, Carroll ISD had all of its administrators complete the training with Region XI Education Service Center. In addition, CISD now has two certified trainers who have been offering the course to classroom teachers and support staff. The training provides significant educational resources for identifying signs and symptoms of students in crisis. Information was provided to CISD parents during the fall Parent University event, with links to resources also outlined on the district’s website.






In the spring of 2019 the Carroll School Board approved a voluntary random drug testing program for students in grades 7-12. The program is modeled after a testing program that nearby Keller ISD has had in place for about 10 years. Parents must give permission for the district to put their student in the pool for random testing. During the 2019-2020 annual student verification process, parents will be asked whether or not they give permission for their student to be in the program. Up to 10 percent of the participating students are tested each month. There are no punitive consequences as a result of a positive test, but school officials can confidentially work with parents to provide resources and support. If a student tests positive one month, he/she is automatically put in the testing group the next month. Parents can join the program at any time, or cease participation at any time. Trustees recently agreed to add nicotine to the list of items being tested during the 2019-2020 school year.

Carroll ISD will continue to educate, train and drill using the I Love You Guys Foundation Standard Safety Protocols: Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter and Hold. These five emergency protocols are helping to ensure uniformity and greater understanding when responding to an emergency situation. School officials say it is important that staff members drill and discuss potential school emergencies to ensure the use of common terminology and consistency in responding to matters of safety and security. Handouts are provided for parents to explain the protocols, as well as the district’s parent reunification plan.

ICC 500 STORM SHELTERS Carroll ISD is in the process of incorporating new international building codes (ICC 50 0) for storm shelters into the ongoing design and construction at CISD campuses. During the 2019-2020 school year, six of the 11 campuses will be equipped with a storm shelter that can withstand 250 mph winds. The district even decided to build the shelters larger than required so that the entire student/staff population at the campuses could be sheltered during a severe storm. Shelters at Carroll Elementary and Johnson Elementary were built as gymnasiums; at Old Union Elementary, the storm shelter is housed in the new academic classroom wing. Shelters are also a part of the construction ongoing at Carroll Sr. High, Rockenbaugh Elementary and Walnut Grove Elementary. School officials say they will seat a Capital Needs Planning Committee at the end of the 2017 bond program to consider facility planning and shelter needs at the remaining five campuses. The additional costs that cannot be absorbed in the $208 million bond program or through interest earned, will be managed using General Fund Balance.


WAIT 5 FOR FACTS An important target #SAFEdragon message going forward will be to discourage the sharing of misinformation on social media and smartphones. Students and staff will be asked to Wait 5 minutes for Facts before texting or tweeting during a school crisis situation. School officials hope this simple culture change will encourage a greater reliance on official CISD messages for facts while at the same time cutting down on speculation and rumor during a school emergency. Encouraging staff and students to pause and wait for facts is a direct result of lessons learned from past school shootings across the nation. False information shared across social media platforms and smartphones is credited with leading first responders to the wrong areas of a school when a shooter is present. Students are encouraged to take their cell phones with them during a lockdown or evacuation so that when given the proper facts/instructions, they can let their parents know they are safe.

LARGE-SCALE DPS TRAINING Carroll ISD teamed up with the Southlake Fire and Police Departments in August to host a large-scale active shooter training at the Administration Center. This exercise was only a drill, but provided teachers, administrators and support staff with key information about how fire and police officers will respond in a potential active shooter situation. The three-day event emphasized incident command, standard safety protocols, team movements, rescue task force and reunification procedures.

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ARTS & ACADEMICS Fine arts and academics play a big part in Carroll’s community. Check out some of our students’ latest accomplishments, from the classroom to the stage. INSIDE CARROLL • 53


CARROLL SENIOR HIGH HOSTS FOURTH ANNUAL FINE ARTS RECOGNITION CEREMONY Carroll Senior High School celebrated 15 special graduating seniors at the fourth annual Fine Arts Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The students who participated in the ceremony were accepted into prestigious college fine arts programs across the country. In order to qualify for ceremony participation, students must have successfully navigated the multi-step process of both university and program acceptance to enter a collegiate fine arts program. Acceptance into these fine arts collegiate programs are talentbased, which means students submitted a portfolio for judgement, or in the case of performance arts students, must have passed a video submission round as well as a live audition. The programs these Dragons are pursuing in college range from musical theatre, vocal performance, jazz music and music education, to studio art and many more. All of these individual programs are thriving in Carroll ISD, and the proof of that is evident in these students’ acceptance in prestigious college programs. Since 2016, the first year of the Fine Arts Recognition Ceremony at Carroll Senior High, there have been 70 graduating seniors continuing their fine arts careers at the collegiate level. A group of parents worked together with CSHS Principal Shawn Duhon to get the ceremony implemented in 2016, just as a nationwide movement began to do similar ceremonies in high schools all around. CSHS Fine Arts parents have even helped other programs across the state get Fine Arts Recognition Ceremonies started at their own schools by sharing the CSHS template and tips on organizing the event. 54 • INSIDE CARROLL

“It is always a great thing to be able to honor and recognize Senior High students in their accomplishments as well as support them in their dreams of pursuing their passion,” Duhon says. “It doesn’t matter if it is athletics, academics or the arts, these students deserve the same level of recognition and it is exciting to celebrate their successes.”

FIVE CARROLL MUSICIANS MAKE THEIR WAY TO TEXAS MUSIC EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION CLINIC/CONVENTION Over 70,000 Texas high school musicians in choir, band, jazz band and orchestra go through the AllState competition process annually, and in the 20182019 school year, Carroll ISD had five musicians come out on top with the highest honor in the state. Diego Pena (Dragon Band), Chase Adams and Spencer Foster (Carroll Jazz Band) and James Wade and Amber Meagher (Carroll Choir) had the honor of performing as All-State musicians at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention, sponsored by the Texas Music Educators Association, in February 2019. These students were selected to perform in the All-State concerts after having gone through multiple rounds of auditions and preparing for the competition process at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. High school students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed in many rounds of auditions in order to qualify at the state level. Almost 1,800 students are selected through a process that begins with over 70,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 15 ensembles (bands, orchestras and choirs), and AllState is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive.


David Lown, Director of Jazz Bands, recognizes the seriousness and dedication that his jazz musicians have to their art form during this process. “We pride ourselves on excellence, and we feel a responsibility to build upon and uphold the tradition of the many Dragons who have come before and achieved great things in the Jazz Program,” Lown says. “Our All-State students serve as a good marker of our progress and our potential.” Carroll Choir Director Paul Doucet believes reaching All-State is not only an immense honor for these student musicians, but for the program as a whole. “We have two of the best student musicians in the country in our chairs,” Doucet says. “James and Amber are leaders and their love of music makes them positive role models for their peers. Students see how hard these talented singers work to achieve their goals.” Dragon Band Director Ken Johnson agrees, noting that not only is it an incredible honor for these students but also an amazing experience. “Each Dragon Band student making an All-State band gets the experience of rehearsing and performing with some of the best musicians from Texas that are their same age,” Johnson says. “They make lifelong memories during their week in San Antonio, and earning a position in an All-State band reflects the determination and effort they put into learning and perfecting the music over several months.”

DRAGON MARCHING BAND DEBUTS NEW UNIFORMS As part of the Bond Program that was passed by voters in May 2017, the Dragon Band Program received brand new marching uniforms of a completely differnet design. These new uniforms are the fifth design the program has had overall and continue to build on the tradition of Dragon Band by implementing design elements and themes from former uniforms. After the Bond had passed in the spring of 2017, band directors worked closely with the uniform designers to ensure the traditional Dragon Band elements were honored and represented in the new uniforms. The primary green screen print on the majority of the uniform is made to look like Dragon scales, while the white triangle and mirror on the left portion of the jacket is an ode to the Dragon Band crest, made popular by the last Dragon Band uniform. These new marching uniforms were debuted during the 2018 football season halftime performances, as well as every marching contest during the school year and a few special community events. “The new uniforms were very well received!” says Dragon Band Director Ken Johnson. “There are certain things that stay with you a long time, and I don’t think I will ever forget the incredible reaction from parents and students the night the uniform was revealed.” INSIDE CARROLL • 55


STEM PROGRAM HOSTS FIRST-EVER STEM ACADEMY DAY The Carroll STEM Academy hosted the first-ever STEM Academy Day on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Over 30 local companies gave presentations to engineering and computer science students on the growing need for STEM skills in the future workplace, and the day was topped off with a keynote speech from Andrzej Stewart, JPL Solar System Ambassador and crew member for two NASA-supported space analog missions. Roughly 300 STEM Academy students had the opportunity to go to 11 total sessions over the course of the day and hear from STEM professionals from companies like Sabre, American Airlines, Microsoft, Accenture, the United States Air Force Academy and many more. “For our first year we wanted to open this up to first-year Carroll STEM Academy students,” says Steve Nathman, Carroll High Career and Technology Education Department Chair. “The idea was to bring in local high-tech companies and recent graduates to talk about the importance of STEM skills for the future. Kids need to hear this from somebody besides us!” The goal of this event was for first-year STEM Academy students to focus on deciding what APG pathway to choose for the rest of their high school career: computer science, engineering, or robotics of engineering-rockets. In addition to the professionals, the event also featured presentations from the Carroll robotics and rocket teams, and computer science competitions/projects. “It was a great way to help the first-year STEM students get an idea of which of our pathways to take for high school – we wanted to give students more options, and let them decide,” Nathman says. 56 • INSIDE CARROLL

The day concluded with a keynote address, delivered by NASA Johnson Space Center Astronaut Andrzej Stewart, who spoke to the students about his experiences as a crew member of two NASAsupported space analog missions. Parent Volunteer Laura Grosskopf played an integral part in securing this keynote speaker, submitting an online application and communicating with the Speaker’s Bureau at NASA Johnson Space Center about a potential keynote speaker for the event. “I thought Carroll’s first STEM Academy day was a huge success,” says Aaron Cadle, Carroll Senior High Computer Science Teacher. “Interacting with the companies helped the students see how their current classes lead to a variety of careers. It is an event that I wished I was able to take part in when I was a high school student.” The faculty organizers and parent volunteers are already excited to start working on next year’s event. The hope is to increase student participation beyond just the first-year students, as well as increase the number of participating companies.

STUDENT ART SHOW DISPLAYED DURING SOUTHLAKE’S ART IN THE SQUARE Southlake’s popular Art in the Square event is a highlight for many during the spring, with people coming from all across the metroplex to enjoy local art and vendors during a three-day festival in Southlake Town Square. This year, Art in the Square took on a special meaning for Carroll ISD art students who had the opportunity to display their works of art in the annual Student Art Show.

ACADEMICS/ART The student art show was housed in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel for the three days that Art in the Square was taking place in Town Square. Hundreds of student artists had the honor of having their work displayed for art enthusiasts visiting the annual festival. From elementary students to graduating seniors, the pieces were selected by campus art teachers, and families were notified that their child’s work would be displayed. Every year, teachers aim to spotlight pieces that achieve the highest execution of each medium or project, and each teacher is limited by a set number of panels and space during their selection process. “It is the hardest job of the art teachers to pick which pieces go to the art show,” says Emily Trammell, Dawson Middle School art teacher. “We want to take every student’s work!”

VARSITY WINTER GUARD FINISHES SEASON AS TOP 20 WORLD FINALIST After another incredible year breaking records left and right, the Carroll Varsity Winter Guard finished their competition season as one of the top 20 teams in the world. The Carroll Guard competed in WGI regional and state competitions starting in February, traveling all over DFW and even to Tulsa, Oklahoma, racking up victories and gold medals, allowing them to qualify for the next step: the world championship. “Our goal as a program this year was to continue to expand our range of competitions,” says Varsity Head Coach Daphne Barnard.

The team certainly met their goals, traveling across the country during the Spring semester and ultimately making it all the way to Dayton, Ohio, for the WGI World Championship. This Carroll Guard team made history by becoming the first to perform in the University of Dayton Arena, the home venue for WGI. After an outstanding semifinal performance on Thursday, April 4, they qualified for the finals for an additional performance on Friday, April 5. Their semifinals performance earned a 90.940 score, the team’s highest ever and an all-time Carroll Guard record for WGI. The Carroll Guard belonged to the “Scholastic A” class, the largest category at the competition. Of the 140+ Scholastic A competitors at this year’s WGI World Championships, 10 hail from Texas, with only two Texas teams qualifying for the Finals, including Carroll. Since its origin, the Carroll Guard program has seen incredible growth, so much so that the program has now been able to split into both a JV and Varsity squad. Barnard coaches the Varsity team, while the JV team is led by Coach Nathalia Eads. The JV team also had an incredible year, finishing it off with a silver medal at their WGI Regional Competition. “This year both groups well exceeded expectations by not only competing in a winter guard international regional, but by becoming champions and earning first place in their respective divisions, competing against top groups from surrounding states,” Barnard says.


ACADEMICS/ART ACTING WITH THE STARS TAKES CENTER STAGE AT CARROLL SENIOR HIGH For the last four years, the Carroll Theatre Department’s Acting With the Stars event has been a highlight of the year, not only for the students and staff involved, but the entire community. On this fun night, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Carroll Theatre program, six local celebrity “stars” participate in an acting competition where they recreate famous theatrical scenes, vying for the most votes from the panel of judges and audience members, in hopes of ultimately receiving the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. The stars are judged by a panel of judges from the professional acting community, which accounts for 60 percent of the score, and the audience is able to cast votes at $1 a piece that make up the remaining 40 percent of the final score. Working with the teaches, administration and community members, the Carroll Theatre students are the acting professionals to the stars (community participant contestants) and manage everything from, selecting a “star” to compete, organizing the rehearsal schedule and much more. In addition to preparing the stars for the competition, the students also are there to encourage the adults, help with any stage fright and make sure they are ready for their debut on the stage. The fourth annual Acting With the Stars took place on February 7, 2019, and featured six competing stars: Officer Brad Uptmore from the Southlake Police Department, Carroll Senior High School Assistant Principal Paul Pinson, CSHS History Teacher Tim Johnston, CSHS English Teacher Barbara Milhizer, CMS Theatre Director Ryan Barbe and choreographer for the Emerald Belles and Choir, Curtis Harnagel. Mr. Ryan Barbe ultimately took home the Mirror Ball Trophy, joining previous winners Jazz Band Director David Lown, community member and Dragon dad Tommy Pennington and Southlake Mayor Laura Hill. Acting With the Stars has been an incredible asset to the Carroll Theatre Department, and was brought to Carroll Senior High by Director of Theatre Jamie Pringle, who started the same fundraiser at her former school over a decade ago. Pringle has encouraged her students to take the lead in organizing and running the event from year to year. “The leadership and problem-solving I see from our students during Acting With the Stars always astounds me,” Pringle says. 58 • INSIDE CARROLL

Meet the star of the game.

Go Dragons!

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ACADEMICS/ART Emerald Belles Featured on America’s Got Talent

Carroll’s own Emerald Belles recently got the opportunity of a lifetime, to perform on their biggest stage yet: America’s Got Talent. The Belles traveled to Los Angeles in March to audition, but had to keep their audition process and involvement under wraps before their audition aired during the June 4 premiere of America’s Got Talent on NBC. After an introduction from Captain Molly McKinnon, the Belles wowed the audience with their high-kick routine, ending in a standing ovation from the entire crowd and AGT Judge Simon Cowell. “You were cohesive and collectively beautiful,” said Julianne Hough, one of the four AGT judges. “I commend you on the fact that you were completely in sync.” For Emerald Belle Director Melissa Page, seeing her students perform on such a grand stage, and do such a great job was the best part of the entire process. Producers from America’s Got Talent contacted Page in the spring of 2018 after seeing their viral high-kick video online. After conversations with producers and a few more video submissions, the Belles were set to audition in Los Angeles in March of 2019. “I’ve been at Carroll for 22 years now, and every year I have a great group. The kids are always won60 • INSIDE CARROLL

derful – that’s why I keep doing it. But this group has just been so special to me. I just don’t know what I would have done without them this year,” says Page. “They’re wonderful kids and so kind-hearted. There’s not a better group for this to happen to.” “It brings so much joy to my heart to see a stage full of young women expressing themselves through dance,” Hough tweeted after the show. The Belles initial appearance on the first round of America’s Got Talent was met with much online praise and approval from the judges panel to pass through to the next round of competition. On July 14 the community got together at Southlake Town Square to celebrate the Emerald Belles and their appearance on America’s Got Talent. The pep rally event included remarks from Southlake Mayor Laura Hill and a parade of student groups through Town Square to the gazebo where the Belles performed to the Dragon fight song. The Belles are currently still competing in “America’s Got Talent.” No matter the outcome, they have represented Carroll ISD well on a national stage and have made Dragon nation extremely proud!


DRAGONS IN COMPETITION From the pool to the field, Dragons embody excellence. With a multitude of playoff appearances across disciplines and state titles in swimming/ diving, soccer and baseball, it’s clear that these students and coaches come ready to compete.







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Steve Keasler Reflects on His Year as CISD Athletic Director


ast summer, Steve Keasler was hired as Carroll ISD’s athletic director. Since, the district has added a few more state titles and continues to be one of the athletic powerhouses of North Texas. He’s no stranger to the Dragons, as he previously coached the high school golf team for nine years. Since then, his career path has ventured to the University of Texas at Austin and Midlothian ISD, but he found his way back to protect the tradition.

ONE OF MY MAIN GOALS… as athletic director at Carroll ISD is to aid in the athletic, academic and personal development of our student-athletes by creating an intentional culture that fosters positive relationships that strive for a tradition of excellence. AT THE AGE OF 14… I started playing golf so I could have a chance to be with my parents and do something they both enjoyed. I STARTED MY COACHING CAREER… at Calliburg ISD in 1989 as Head Girls & Boys Golf Coach as well as varsity assistant basketball and football coach. IT HAD ALWAYS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE TO… coach at Carroll ISD under Coach (Bob) Ledbetter. At the time, he was one of the most respected football coaches in the state of Texas and had one of the best most consistent programs in a one-high-school town. MY JOURNEY BACK TO CISD… has seemed to come full circle. During my time at Carroll, I was able to obtain my master’s degree while coaching football as a quarterback coach, track & field coach and varsity assistant basketball coach. In addition to my time at Carroll, I have been blessed by amazing opportunities throughout my career from coaching at the high school level, becoming an assistant golf coach at the University of Texas and serving as an athletic director, but coming back to Carroll is like coming back home. COACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS… was a unique opportunity and experience in that I was able to work at the college level recruiting and be part of a Big 12 Championship, but my passion of high school athletics always remained purposeful and strong.

IN THE 2000s I WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY… to become a Division 1 college coach outside Texas, but I chose to stay in Texas to be closer to family as well as be a part of my children’s lives as they went through school. Therefore, my path took me to Midlothian ISD as Executive Director of Athletics. THE POWER OF THE DRAGON CULTURE… stayed within me and has led me back to Carroll ISD as an athletic administrator. It has been a rewarding opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some amazing athletic directors who have set the foundation of greatness.



Dragon Swim and Dive Teams Rake in the Awards For the ninth consecutive year, the Carroll Dragons Boy’s Swim and Dive Team earned the UIL Swimming and Diving State Championship. Joining them on the podium, earning their third state title in program history, the Lady Dragon Swim and Dive Team topped all opponents with a team score of 298, the highest cumulative team score in the history of the UIL’s 6A classification. Junior, Katherine “KitKat ” Zenick, earned second place in the 50-meter freestyle, setting new school records, and finished fourth in the 100-meter fly. In addition, the Lady Dragon 400-meter freestyle relay featuring Zenick, Riley Francis, Natalie Whalen , and Ashley Zettle took first place in recordbreaking time. In Zenick’s first two years on varsity, the Lady Dragon Swim and Dive team finished third then second, so earning the top spot on the podium was important for her and her teammates this year. “This year was special because Coach (Kevin) Murphy, along with the other coaches, instilled a belief in all of the girls that we had the potential to win the state title,” Zenick says. “I wholeheartedly believe we were able to take state due to our cultivation of one of the best team atmospheres I’ve ever seen, and every girl contributed to our win regardless of whether or not they actually competed at state. Having had the opportunity to race and cheer for every single one of my teammates was the highlight of my season because success without support lacks gratification and humility.” Corbyn Cormack also added her name to Carroll’s record book with a first-place win in the 100-meter breaststroke. Additionally, Whalen finished first, just ahead of Cormack in the 200-meter individual medley. For the boys, the relay team of Landon Armstrong, Kevin Repice, Jakob Williams and Chris Lindley took second overall in the 400 freestyle relay with a season-best time of 1:33.21. The 400-meter freestyle team consisted of four 64 • INSIDE CARROLL

senior captains, which is one of the reasons that Kevin Repice believes the team performed so well together. “What was special about the 400 relay team was that it was made up of the four senior captains, so we all knew each other very well. We were all very comfortable with each other, both in and out of the water, and I believe that was a part of what made the relay team so outstanding,” Repice stated. “That kind of bond is built by all the countless hours put into the sport and the camaraderie between teammates, in and out of the pool setting,” he adds. “This bond is not something you would usually find between friends; it was almost brotherly in a sense, and I think that’s what made this relay one to remember.” Armstrong also earned fourth in the 100 free, with Matt Hahn not far behind in seventh place. All six of Carroll’s relays made National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) High School All-American. Both teams combined for over 20 AllAmerican honors. These student-athletes completed their events with times that automatically put them among the elite swim and dive athletes in the country.


DRAGON BASEBALL CLAIMS BACK-TOBACK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS Winning a state championship at the 6A classification once is a tough accomplishment, but winning two consecutive state championships at that same level is downright historic. The Dragon Baseball team became the first team to repeat at the state’s highest classification since the 2002-2003 season. After winning the 2018 UIL State Championship and graduating 22 seniors, the Dragons were not expected to be playing in games the first weekend of summer. This season was a journey for the defending champions, in which they overcame obstacles, honored important community members and defended their state championship title. Early Season Challenges Help Shape Team Identity After a trip to California to face off against the country’s top talent and a local weekend series, the Dragons sat at 1-6 after the first full week of the season. However, the Dragons began to gel as they opened up District 5-6A play. Behind strong pitching and high powered offense, reminiscent of the 2018 Dragons, the team rolled through district play and clinched the 5-6A District Championship. Senior pitcher and Baylor commit, Cutter Sippel, returned to the mound after battling injuries the previous year and pieced together an impressive 12-1 season. He was excited to finally be back with his team and competing.

“Having a year of ups and downs like I did last year… I was just pumped to be on the field playing baseball,” Sippel says. The Dragons carried a seven-game winning streak into the playoffs, and they did not lose another game the rest of the way. Series wins against familiar names like Coppell and Flower Mound opened up the pathway for the team’s third trip to Dell Diamond in Round Rock in as many years. In the semifinal matchup, Sippel took the bump for the Dragons against a talented Lake Travis team. The Dragons faced Lake Travis’ Brett Baty, who earlier in the week was selected 12th overall by the New York Mets in the MLB Rookie Draft. After a rocky start, junior Justin Grech started the comeback for the Dragons in the bottom of the sixth. Forcing an errant throw allowed Grech to get on base and later score to tie the game up for the Dragons. Grech continued his big night in the 7th when he stepped up with the bases loaded and knocked in the deciding run of the game. The Dragons went on to win the semifinal matchup 6-2 and advance on to play Fort Bend Ridge Point in Saturday’s finale. Joe Steeber took the mound for the Dragons and put on a clinic throughout the championship game. After the Dragon offense jumped out to an early fourrun lead in the first inning, Steeber worked through a early jam and took control of the game through the conclusion of the season finale. The offense was led by Cade Manning, Brandon Howell and Riley Garcia who each had multi-hit days INSIDE CARROLL • 65

ATHLETICS at the plate. The Dragons put 17 runs on the scoreboard and clinched their second consecutive UIL State Championship.Grech was named the Most Valuable Player of the weekend for his performance in both games. When the final out was recorded and the medals were given out, the Dragons had become the first repeat baseball champions in Texas’ highest high school classification since 2003. The Dragons also set a few UIL State Baseball Tournament records during their final performance of the year as well. The Dragons plated 11 runs in the third inning of the championship and 17 runs total for the game which are both UIL State records for the tournament. For Coach Larry Vucan, who took the program over for former coach Larry Hughes three seasons ago, the championship game was a special notch in the coaches belt as well. Vucan celebrated his 100th career win as a head coach by winning his team’s second consecutive state championship. According to Steeber, Vucan is more than just a coach of a good baseball team. “Coach Vucan has created such a welcoming environment in that locker room,” Steeber says. “It is family first, and those guys in that room, we are all family. He placed the seniors in a leadership position early in the season and mentored us through this entire journey. He is a great coach and an even better person” For Vucan, “journey” is the word he thinks perfectly describes this team and this state championship season. “We will certainly look back on this someday and say... ‘Wow! how did that happen?’” Vucan says.


CARROLL CHEER EARNS SECOND IN STATE In a year that saw every athletic team make the playoffs, academic clubs and organizations advance to national contests, and the community come together many times to recognize the achievements of the Carroll Dragons, there was one constant - the Carroll cheerleaders. The Carroll cheerleaders had a busy year celebrating and recognizing the accomplishments of others. They walked the halls for clap outs that sent athletic and academic competitors off to competitions. They planned and executed many public appearances throughout the community, and they were visible at as many sporting events as possible throughout the year. The Dragons did all of these events while spending numerous hours practicing and preparing for their own UIL Spirit competition. Coming off a very successful third-place finish in the UIL Spirit contest in 2018, the Carroll Cheer team did one spot better in 2019. The UIL Spirit Contest was recently added to the lineup of events that count towards the UIL Lone Star Cup standings. By winning second overall in 6A at the state competition, the cheerleaders added to the Carroll ISD total points for the school year. The UIL Spirit competition requires the cheer team to plan and execute four different routines during the competition. These include an original band dance, sideline cheer, main cheer and fight song routine. The top 20 teams advance to the UIL Spirit Finals, and they perform their routines again for the judges. Carroll Cheer scored the highest score in 6A Division II in “crowd leading” by almost two full points over McAllen Memorial, and finished fifth overall in their fight song and band chant routine. The average of the two scores propelled the Carroll Cheerleaders to second place overall out of 56 in the state, and secured their best showing in the UIL Spirit Contest in the program history.


LADY DRAGONS SOCCER TEAM TAKES STATE From the first day of soccer practice, the goal for this soccer team was the state tournament or bust. In order to make that goal a reality, the Lady Dragons had to change the way they looked at their season. “We got almost too focused on the ultimate goal of a state championship that we had to step back and refocus on the 200 feet in front of us,” senior Kendall Gilpin states. “We had to focus on one game at a time to accomplish the big goal.” The Lady Dragons played a tough pre-season tournament schedule that had them facing off against some of the top talents in the country. As the district portion of the season began, the Lady Dragons did not have the start they had envisioned, going 1-1-1 through the first three games. Over the next 11 games, these student-athletes would begin a magical run of games, writing the legacy of the 2019 Lady Dragon soccer team. During the remainder of their District 5-6A schedule, the Lady Dragons ran off 11 consecutive victories outscoring their opponents 41-4. A final district record of 12-1-1 clinched the fourth consecutive district championship for the team. For Gilpin, Taylor Tufts, Madi Drenowatz and Madi Martin, this was a historic district championship. These four Lady Dragons have been on varsity since their freshman year and are the first

Lady Dragons to win district each year of their high school career. The Lady Dragons continued their hot streak into the playoffs and advanced to the state final by outscoring their opponents 24-3 over the first six rounds of the playoffs. The UIL State Championship matched the Lady Dragons against the Katy Tompkin Falcons, who were, up until this game, undefeated and the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Drenowatz made the most of her final high school soccer game, as she put three goals in the net and earned the Tournament MVP honors in the postgame ceremony. Drenowatz finished the season with a team-high: 34 goals and a 15-game scoring streak. Carroll ISD Executive Director of Athletics Steve Keasler says this team needs to be remembered for more than just the trophy they hoisted after the championship game. “This group of ladies will go down as one of the most dominating girls’ soccer teams in UIL history,” Keasler says. “It was an honor to experience the teamwork, caring, toughness, and excitement of these ladies throughout this impressive playoff run. The Lady Dragon team excelled both on the field and in the classroom this season. After the dust settled from the state tournament, the accolades for the team continued to roll in. Twenty-eight Lady Dragons were recognized as INSIDE CARROLL • 67


Academic All-District athletes and 12 seniors were named to the Academic All-State team. In order to be recognized as Academic All-District, the athlete must maintain a grade point average of 92 or above. On the field, the Lady Dragons earned 16 All-District honors including Tufts, who was recognized as the District 5-6A Most Valuable Player. Drenowatz was named District 5-6A Offensive Most Valuable Player, and Martin was recognized as the district’s top goalkeeper.


DRAGON COACH NAMED ‘USA TODAY’ ALL-USA GIRLS’ SOCCER COACH OF THE YEAR Coming off a Lady Dragon Soccer season that many are calling one of the most dominating in Texas high school girls soccer history, the student athletes aren’t the only Dragons getting recognition for their hard work. Lady Dragon Soccer Head Coach Matt Colvin was named “USA Today” All-USA Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year. Colvin has a career record of 382-75-36 since becoming the head of the program in 2001. He has never had a losing season and led Carroll to 10 district titles, multiple playoff appearances and two UIL Texas State Championships. During the 2018-2019 Lady Dragon soccer season, the Colvin-led team had one loss and only allowed 14 goals on the season. Dominating on both ends of the pitch, propelled the Lady Dragons up both the state and national rankings throughout the season. They finished the season ranked number three overall in the USA Today Super 25 Rankings. Senior goalkeeper Madison Martin believes that Colvin is more than just her soccer coach, but also one of her trusted mentors in life. “Coach Colvin has taught me so many things applicable to both soccer and life. He bridges the gap between a dream and a reality by pushing us to our full potential,” Martin says. “He is so good at what he does because he is willing to continue to learn from each of the teams that he has coached and that means Lady Dragon Soccer is only going to get better under his leadership!”

ATHLETICS NEW BOYS HEAD SOCCER COACH HAS SUCCESSFUL FIRST YEAR First-year soccer coach Aaron Cottrell knew from day one that he had some big shoes to fill on the sidelines for Dragon Soccer. The transition, however, could not have gone any better for him or the team. Cottrell took over the reins for Greg Oglesby, who retired after many years in education that included starting the soccer programs in both Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Carroll ISD. “He’s the ‘Godfather of DFW Soccer.’ It was an honor to take over for such a legend,” Cottrell says. “I am excited to continue to build on his tradition and legacy. Coach O definitely left this program in position to go to the next level.” Cottrell has 17 years of experience in education and came to Carroll ISD from Keller Central High School where he served as head boys soccer coach since 2013. Cottrell led the Central Soccer Club to the playoffs each of his five years as head coach. Before Central, he served as the head coach of the Chisholm Trail High School soccer team in Eagle Mountain Saginaw ISD. He was the first head coach hired to begin the program when the school opened. As the Dragon team began to prepare for the season, the goal was always excellence. “We set goals early that included returning to the elite level this team has been before,” Cottrell says. “We wanted to be recognized as a top program not only in Texas, but also in the country.” The team finished its regular season with an overall record of 20-0-3 and a district record of 11-0-3. The team spent the better part of the season ranked number one in the nation by USA Today and ranked at the top of the regional rankings. To put the Dragon’s undefeated regular season run in perspective, in the previous 24 seasons only one Dragon team has matched this accomplishment and that was the 2011 Dragon team, who went 21-0-3 in the regular season and went on to win the team’s last state championship. The Dragons’ lone loss on the season would come during the opening round of the UIL playoffs against the Hebron Hawks. While a first-round exit was not the goal set early in the season, the program is moving in the right direction under Cottrell. “I am competitive for sure, but I woke up the day after the playoff loss, and immediately just felt pride in what we had done as a team,” Cottrell says. “I am so proud of this team, and the future we are building together. I love these guys and I am truly blessed to be a part of Carroll ISD.” INSIDE CARROLL • 69


DRAGON RUNNING BACK WINS TOP DFW FOOTBALL HONOR After a season that saw T.J. McDaniel rush 2,122 yards and earn 34 touchdowns, and the Dragons finish off an incredible perfect regular season and deep playoff run, one could assume there were going to be multiple post-season honors coming McDaniel’s way. McDaniel was awarded The Landry Award after being selected as the unanimous Most Valuable Player in District 5-6A. This award recognizes the top high school football player in North Texas who demonstrates positive character and leadership attributes. “It’s crazy how I found out that I was a finalist. I was watching a football game with a friend, and I saw my name pop up on the television,” McDaniel says. “My buddy and I were both in shock over it. Coach (Riley) Dodge called the next day with the news as well.” McDaniel adds his name to the list of Landry winners that include NFL All-Pro defensive player Myles Garrett, and recent NFL number one overall pick, Kyler Murray. McDaniel is well aware that he is in rare company. “It’s really surreal to see my name with those players,” McDaniel states. “These amazing athletes and their success motivate me to work hard as well.” Head Football Coach Riley Dodge knew he had a special player both on and off the field. “On the field, it was obvious the type of player T.J. is, but what I will always carry with me about T.J. McDaniel is the person he is off the field,” Dodge says. “He is a selfless leader with a servant’s heart. His work ethic showed in his on-field results, but his character was obvious in the locker room and on the practice field.” McDaniel will be staying local and will attend Southern Methodist University in the fall. SMU has had another famous running back in the program before, and McDaniel looks to be a vital part of getting the Mustangs back to the glory days of Erik Dickerson. “I had the opportunity to meet him a few times during recruiting,” McDaniel says. “His influence is still felt in that locker room, and I look forward to building on his legacy.” 70 • INSIDE CARROLL

SENIOR TENNIS PLAYER BREAKS ALL-TIME WIN RECORD In a season that saw the Dragon Tennis team qualify the most athletes for the Spring UIL State Meet in program history, senior Nick Ryniak also tore down a Dragon Tennis record that had stood for a decade. With his 197th and 198th match victory in an early Spring tournament, Ryniak became the Dragon alltime wins leader. The previous record was held by Ryan McClanahan. Over his four years as a varsity tennis player, Ryniak has collected quite a few accolades and recognition. Most recently, Ryniak was named the 2019 District 5-6A MVP. In 2015, he was named District Freshman of the Year. Each year of his high school career, he was honored as a first team All-District Singles, Team and Doubles player. Prior to his trip to the Spring state tournament in 2019, Ryniak also qualified in 2016 and 2018. He was also recognized this season as a TTCA Academic AllState Athlete. Dragon Tennis Head Coach Corey Aldridge has enjoyed watching Ryniak as a four-year starter for Dragon Tennis. “I’ve enjoyed watching Nick grow into the young, mature man he is today,” Aldridge says. “He knows what it takes to be successful, both in the classroom or on the court. I’m blessed to have spent the past four years with this kid.” Ryniak finished his high school career with 208 career wins and will be attending Notre Dame in the fall.

#WEFUNDTEACHERS Carroll Education Foundation Makes Largest Charitable Donation Ever


n May 2019, the Carroll Education Foundation (CEF) announced publicly that it would be making the largest charitable donation to Carroll ISD in the history of the organization - quadruple what was given in teacher grants in previous years. It’s all a part of the Foundation’s new direction, which will help fill the funding gap between state contributions and local expectations. “I think when CEF announced that it was hoping to partially fund at least one position at every CISD campus, there were some who didn’t quite think it could happen,” says Superintendent David J. Faltys. “It truly is an amazing contribution, and one that many students will benefit from going forward.” For more than 20 years, the foundation focused on funding teacher grants. Donating about $100,000 each year during that time period, the Foundation’s charge was to support projects and programs that were not included in the district’s general operating budget. The focus changed, however, when several Board members decided to research some of the more successful education foundations in the state and nation. The models they found most successful, moved away from funding “stuff” to funding “staff.” CEF’s new mission is to build financial support from community and corporate partners to ensure excellence in education for all students in CISD. To accomplish that mission, CEF supplements funds for teachers and other educators whose positions the state of Texas does not require but the community considers necessary for a superior education. Beginning in 2002, Carroll ISD became a Chapter 41 (property wealthy) school district. In the state of Texas, Chapter 41 school districts are required to send a portion of locally-generated funds from the district

to the state’s general fund and other less-wealthy districts. From 2001 to the current budget, Carroll ISD’s total recapture payments have been $274.6 million. School officials say they have identified one existing or new position at each campus for CEF funding. This doesn’t mean the staff member will lose his/her job if CEF funding isn’t sustainable. However, if the first year is any measure of success of the Foundation’s new direction, they have made believers out of everyone. “We all were initially nervous about completely shifting the fundraising strategy of our organization,” says CEF Board Chair Kathy Talley. “But with the hard work and dedication of our staff and board members, and the wonderful generosity of our donors, our vision became reality. And we are truly excited and looking forward to even more growth in year two of our new mission.” Scott Wrehe, Assistant Superintendent for Financial Services, says the sizable donation will support the partial staffing of 11 positions - one at each CISD campus. These range from art, music, theatre teachers and intervention counselors to additional administrators, science lab teachers, and a certified teacher for the computer lab to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instruction. “Even with the State Legislature increasing its funding contribution for public education this next biennium, there is still a gap that exists,” Wrehe says. “With this blend of existing and new positions across the district, the CEF donation will support at least one position at every campus that is critical and necessary to maintain the level of excellence our parents and taxpayers expect from CISD,” Faltys adds.



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amily and friends watched personalized grad messages rotate on the large-screen video board at Dragon Stadium. Simultaneously, members of the Class of 2019 gathered one last time in the auditorium at Carroll Senior High School. Each of them were adorned in Carroll’s traditional green caps and gowns as they loaded up on yellow school buses for the final ride across town - a tradition started several years ago by Principal Shawn Duhon. It was sunny and hot on the evening of May 31 as 622 members of the Class of 2019 walked across the stage and accepted their high school diplomas before a hometown crowd. Just 48 hours earlier, family and friends gathered to watch 11 of their classmates accept their diplomas in a special graduation ceremony in the auditorium of Carroll Senior High School. This commencement event was specifically for senior members of the Dragon baseball team who were headed to the playoffs. True to form, these 11 would go on to win Carroll its second consecutive University Interscholastic League 6A State Championship, which made missing their graduation ceremony more than worth it. The 633-member Class of 2019 earned more than $24.7 million in scholarships and posted 63,493 volunteer hours. Senior Class President Vishnu Nair kicked off graduation speeches by talking about the group’s many accomplishments - from a nationally-ranked robotics team and state championship in colorguard, to a perfect score at UIL competition by choir and athletic dynasties in sports like swimming and cross country. He described the senior year as a bittersweet

moment where “every memory is a last.” Classmate Alvin Zhang, Salutatorian, described high school as a process for building a foundation. He thanked his classmates and hardworking teachers for being part of what he described as “an amazing journey.” Student Council President Jack Tucker reminisced about the journey through the halls of Carroll High and encouraged his classmates to think hard about their commitment to the future. “Are we going to spend our days judging those with whom we share the world, or are we going to choose love and acceptance?” Tucker asked. “We are gifted one single opportunity in this world, to strive valiantly, to dare greatly, and to know that regardless of our victories and defeats, we stood strong.” “In Southlake, we are fortunate to have so many resources, specifically, incredibly passionate and dedicated teachers, “ Valedictorian Lauren Risenhoover reminded her classmates. “We are lucky to live in Southlake, a place that makes students feel special for their individual passions, their gifts.” Students and families say it is a special thing to graduate under the lights of their home stadium. As the sun slid farther and farther down into the western landscape, the heat began to dissipate and the excitement built. It only took about two hours for student speakers to finish and for announcer Ken Goodman to call out the names of all seniors; classmates cheered as the last name echoed over the loudspeaker. Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends gathered on the turf field after the ceremony to take pictures, hug and celebrate the bittersweet crossover from high school student to graduate. INSIDE CARROLL • 73

CLASS OF 2019 Class of 2019 Valedictorian — Lauren Risenhoover


or Class of 2019 Valedictorian Lauren Risenhoover, being a Dragon is all about working your hardest and chasing your dreams. Risenhoover feels that she has had ample opportunities as a Dragon to chase after huge dreams that could one day change the world. Risenhoover is grateful for the opportunities provided to her by her parents and the Carroll ISD community as a whole. Having had the opportunity to work multiple internships and job shadows through the Carroll Medical Academy, she feels like they have prepared her for her next steps after leaving the halls of Carroll Senior High School. “The Class of 2019 has been lucky to have so many opportunities and resources available to us through the support of our families, the amazing teachers in Carroll ISD, and the outstanding Dragon community,” Risenhoover says. “ As long as our class is willing to work hard and put forth our best effort, we really can accomplish anything we set our minds to.” Risenhoover plans on attending Northwestern University in the fall to major in Global Health, Economics, and Spanish, her ultimate goal being to attend medical school to become a surgeon. “I would love to either start a business someday or work directly with ‘Doctors Without Borders’ in order to help improve healthcare infrastructure and education in developing countries,” Risenhoover states. This passion to help others was spurned in Lauren through not only her teachers in the Carroll Medical Academy but also her AP English teacher, Barbara Milhizer. “Mrs. Milhizer is not only passionate about what she teaches but also the success of her students,” Risenhoover says. “When her students leave her classroom, she wants them to walk away as leaders who are able to express themselves, and I am very grateful for that.” Risenhoover will be leaving Carroll ISD with many long-lasting memories including winning a state championship with her lacrosse team; however, some of her favorite memories are just the everyday things that high school students get to enjoy. “I will miss going to football games, golf tournaments and just being with my friends,” Risenhoover says. “Those experiences, with my closest friends, are the special moments that I am going to miss as I head off to college.”


CLASS OF 2019 Class of 2019 Salutatorian — Alvin Zhang


s Class of 2019 Salutatorian Alvin Zhang heads off to college, he wants this graduating class to remember that high school was not just about the next big test or an upcoming project due for the Carroll Medical Academy. Instead, Zhang wants everyone to remember high school as some of the most enjoyable times of their lives. “ Yes, we all had to work hard to achieve our goals, but high school was fun,” Zhang says. “I hope my classmates can remember all the great times we had and look past the daily grind of prepping for exams or trying to make the best grades.” While it is tough for Zhang to pinpoint one teacher to call his ‘favorite’ during his time at Carroll Senior High School, some of his best memories in his final year happened after the bell rang while sitting in his science class with Tommy Tubbs. “All of my teachers have left a lasting impact on me, and for me to pick a favorite would be nearly impossible,” Zhang says. “This year I was lucky to have had Mr. Tubbs for my final class of the day. I would stay after class sometimes and just talk to him. Our conversations were very interesting, and he has taught me quite a bit about life.” As his time as a student ends in Carroll ISD, Zhang knows that the impact his years in this community have had on him will continue to help him grow for years to come. This fall, Zhang will be heading to the University of Texas at Austin to begin his studies in electrical engineering. With him, he will carry fond memories and lasting friendships that were fostered in the hallways of CISD. “Carroll ISD has been my home for seven years, and I have made many lifelong friendships and amazing memories,” Zhang states. “I hope to be able to use the memories of my time in Carroll ISD as a motivator to continue to strive for bigger and better things in life.”


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Carroll Alumni are Dragons For Life


he Carroll Education Foundation believes that once you become a Dragon, you are a Dragon for life. That’s the premise behind the new Dragon Alumni Network, an online resource established to engage Dragon alumni around the world through online social interaction, event collaboration and philanthropy in support of the unique community of Carroll ISD and Southlake, Texas. Registration to use th e portal is free to all Carroll Alumni! The Dragon Alumni Portal allows you to reunite with old friends, make reunion planning easy and expand your professional network. Through the portal, alumni can also upload and share old photos, mentor a recent CSHS graduate and stay current on alumni news and events. Carroll Superintendent David Faltys used the podium at the 2019 graduation ceremony to announce this new online network resource to a crowd of more than 5,000 in attendance. Since then more than 200 former Dragons have joined the Carroll Alumni Network. “We appreciate the work of the Carroll Education Foundation in bringing our past, present and future Dragons together,” Faltys says. “Our district has a strong tradition of excellence, and the new alumni network will give our graduates an opportunity to connect with classmates and faculty who helped protect this tradition through the years. It’s exciting to see the network come together, and we believe it will continue to thrive and grow in support of Carroll ISD.” Although free, the Carroll Dragon Alumni Network welcomes all Carroll Alumni to join the Alumni Network by making an initial donation to support Carroll ISD and the global services and community available through the online collaboration portal and alumni scholarships. “We are excited to have the Carroll Dragon Alumni Portal online because it brings all Dragon alumni together in a “one-stop shop” for alumni social interaction, professional networking, event and homecoming collaboration, and information sharing among our Dragon alumni,” says John Irvine, Incoming Chair of the Carroll Education Foundation.


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• Join Today: Go to and click “get started.” You can login with your Google, LinkedIn or Facebook ID for your convenience. • Download the App: From the Apple Store, install Graduway Community and enter Dragon Alumni within the app. For Android, just search Dragon Alumni.




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ACADEMIC STRIDES Carroll ISD Sees Immense Success in Academics

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system. But school officials reiterate that a campus or district should not be measured by a single grade but rather by the overall educational program and rigor it offers its students. In December 2018, Carroll ISD was announced as one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada that was named to the ninth annual AP District Honor Roll. Out of the nine years that the AP District Honor Roll has been in place, Carroll received the designation seven times, more than any other district in Texas. A total of 21 Carroll Senior High students were honored as National Merit Semifinalists; the campus also boasted 49 National Commended Students and 14 National Hispanic Scholars. In Floral Design, 54 students took the Level 1 and 2 tests and 53 students passed, which is a 92.4% passing rate. Carroll ISD students also showed an increase in the Masters Level of STAAR testing in most grade levels, including four out of five end-of-course exams. Gina Peddy, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, said the Curriculum and Instruction staff worked with teachers to complete a STAAR Data Analysis. In this analysis, every STAAR/EOC question was analyzed and then paired with its correlated TEK (Texas Essential Knowledge learning standard).



he 2018-2019 school year could easily have been dubbed “The Year of the Dragon.” Students across the district excelled in academics, athletics and the arts, earning the University Interscholastic League’s coveted Lone Star Cup for the seventh time. While many of the headlines focused on State Championships in soccer, swimming/diving and baseball, one need not go far to find Dragons giving their peak performance in other areas such as robotics, debate, journalism, yearbook and business. “Our students and staff excelled in many different academic areas,” says Janet McDade, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. “I am proud of the commitment, hard work and effort that goes into achieving the academic gains made in CISD this year.” Carroll ISD was one of only five districts in the state to earn the Texas Education Agency’s Postsecondary Readiness Distinction every year it’s been a part of the state’s accountability system. The postsecondary readiness distinction takes into account factors such as graduation rates, ACT/SAT participation and performance, Career and Technical Education (CTE) graduates, and dual-credit course completion rates. Every campus and the district also earned an “A” Rating under the Texas Education Agency’s new A-F


ACADEMIC STRIDES riculum writers from each of the departments to help teachers better understand the growth measure and how that works with the new accountability system.” CISD had teacher leaders and Administrators attend Lead4ward training with John Fessenden in October. The district also implemented Imagine Math, but won’t know for some time just how much it has impacted student learning and performance. During the spring of 2019 it was announced that Walnut Grove Elementary was named a Beacon School for Imagine Math. In addition, Eubanks Intermediate was named a School of Excellence by Imagine Math. Carroll ISD was spotlighted by Albert for all Advanced Academics accomplishments related to AP testing. This year CISD administered 2,900 tests compared to last year’s 2,874.

“This activity allowed teachers to review the cognitive level of thinking related to the TEK, and it allowed teachers to see how many questions on the STAAR/ EOC tests were connected with that specific TEK (standard),” Peddy says. “Then, teachers analyzed their own student data along with the district data to see how each student answered every answer choice.” Peddy says by breaking down the data and correlating it to how the students answered the questions then teachers had a better understanding of why students choose a particular answer, and then teachers could adjust their questioning and instructional activities to better address any deficiencies or any enrichment that might be needed in the learning process. “This year we added an additional piece of analysis to help teachers,” Peddy explains. “The C&I department would have ‘accountability talks’ with the cur-





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Dragons are state leaders in College Readiness The Dragon Class of 2018-19 excelled well beyond state averages on ACT benchmarks for college readiness. The class exhibited its highest scores in over a decade, scoring 37%-46% higher than their state peers.
















Dragons are also well-rounded as well— nearly tripling the state average (73% vs 26%) of students meeting college readiness in all four ACT exams.


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EDUCATION IN ACTION Carroll ISD’s faculty and staff continually strive for excellence. Whether that means teaching in a classroom, overseeing transportation, serving on the Board of Trustees or announcing at Dragon games, everyone in the following pages gives their all.



Merit in Miles: CISD Director of Transportation Strives for Excellence


oing your very best is not always convenient or easy, but it’s always the right thing to do.” These are words to live by, says Ranjan George, Carroll ISD’s Director of Transportation, and is the standard he has set for his staff of nearly 70 employees on a daily basis. Carroll ISD transports about 3,500 students a day for a total of 2,000 miles back and forth to school and about 1,500 extracurricular trips during the school year through the Transportation Department. George started almost five years ago as the Director of Transportation in Carroll ISD and has spent those years looking for ways for the department to do its very best. “You could say that transportation has been in my blood for most of my life,” says George, reflecting on his 30+ years in general transportation. Almost 20 of those years have been spent as a director of transportation in school systems, making him the perfect candidate to come into the director role in CISD. Along with his expertise, George brought with him the employee of the month program in the Transportation Department, a fan-favorite that is both fun and constructive. “I believe it really helps motivate the drivers,” George says. The Employee of the Month is honored within the department among peers and is also publicized to the entire Carroll community in the Dragon eBlast. “Ranjan cares deeply about the district and his department, and strives for excellence daily,” says Assistant Superintendent Scott Wrehe. “He always puts his employees and the department first.” The Transportation Department, with George at the helm, has faced quite a few changes over the last

few years. The 2017 Bond Program included quite a few transportation-related items, including 26 new, conventional 77-passenger school buses, which were utilized during the 2018-2019 school year. The district also used bond funds to purchase two regular 47-passenger buses, two special-education buses and two flat-nosed transit buses for student activities, competitions and long-distance travel. These upgraded buses meet new legislation regarding three-point seatbelts and safety vision cameras. The safety of the bus riders and drivers is top priority in the Transportation Department, so these new, safer buses were welcomed with open arms by George and his team. “In addition to a video presentation on seat belts, each one of our drivers received one-on-one training,” George says. “Each driver was responsible for training the students on their bus, and they make daily announcements about seat belt usage.” Not only did the buses get a safety upgrade, but the Transportation Center also underwent the first renovation of the facility since 2001. Additional security measures included electric gates, video monitoring systems, lockdown capabilities and updated lighting in the bus parking area. These bond funded updates are exciting for George and the department, but do not hold a candle to his favorite part of the job: the kids. “We have some of the most polite and well-behaved kids of any district I’ve been in,” George says. “Knowing we are getting them safely and successfully to and from school on a daily basis makes everything worth it.”


EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION CISD K-12 Coordinator of Counselors Tammy Pulse Offers Some Free Advice THE BEST ADVICE I HAVE… for students who are stressed about school are the following five points: 1. Decompress- be mindful of self-thoughts (keep them positive), breathe and get some fresh air. 2. Make a list of what needs to be done and tackle those things first. Set short-term and long-term goals. Eliminate distractors and/or prioritize where your focus and energy needs to go. 3. Pull in your resources for support (Parents, teachers, counselors, friends). Do not be afraid to ask for help! 4. Keep life balanced… not overloaded. It’s important to have downtime and get sleep and have time for friends and family. 5. Sometimes a little stress can be okay as long as it’s manageable and not sustained. Allow adults to help teach you how to handle life’s stresses and how to get through them.


Now serving as the CISD K-12 Coordinator of Counselors, Tammy Pulse has been with the district for 23 years. She taught seventh and eighth grade English at Carroll Middle School for 10 years before transitioning to Carroll High School and Senior High as a counselor. In November of 2018, she moved into her current role. She loves working with students and helping them unlock their potential. With the compassion and empathy she brings to the role, Pulse is a perfect fit in her new title. I ALWAYS LOVED… school and admired my teachers and my own high school counselor, so it was easy for me to fall into the role of an educator. My educators served as role models for me, and I wanted to emulate them and be like them. I still feel like I’m a kid at heart in many ways, so it’s easy for me to “speak their language.” I love working with kids because they are full of life and untapped potential. I feel like it’s our job as adults to preserve the goodness in our students and to provide a listening, empathetic ear for them in order to guide them in making healthy decisions throughout their life.


IT’S IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS… to be able to trust the adults in their world to help (parents, teachers, counselors, administrators). We want our schools to be safe places where we model kind and inclusive behavior. Through guidance and class discussions, we want to teach our students to be “Upstanders” and not “Bystanders,” which means we want kindness to be the norm where students know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help. Teachers, counselors, and administrators can give comfort, support, and advice when a student is dealing with a bully. We always encourage our students to report bullying if it happens. CISD’s Resiliency Project has a focus topic on Bullying Prevention and spreading Kindness. All schools in CISD have adopted Rachel’s Challenge curriculum to spread kindness in all our schools and to eliminate bullying. IT’S IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS… to talk to their children and to know the warning signs of bullying. Communication is key. Monitoring student’s social media accounts to ensure that they are maintaining healthy boundaries in regards to cyber citizenship is very important for parents. CISD PROVIDES GREAT RESOURCES… for parents regarding bullying on the district and campus webpages. CISD counselors provide guidance to students in all grade levels regarding bullying; including how to identify it and how to report it. Carroll ISD

has implemented programs that address bullying, making personal connections with each student, and providing an anonymous system for reporting potentially dangerous situations. The Dragon Tip Line program is now a part of our anonymous reporting efforts. Tip line numbers can be found on the district and campus web pages. TO ME, RESILIENCE MEANS… taking all things in stride and being able to bounce back from the setbacks in our life. I like to teach students that adversity is a cause for celebration because it stretches us and gives us an opportunity to bring in our coping and problem-solving skills. When students come in upset from certain life conflicts or problems, we talk about what’s the best and worst thing that can come out of this situation. We reflect upon how we might have done things differently, and we plan for how we can re-set and be prepared for similar occurrences in the future. I also like to talk to students about the factors in their life that they can control and to put positive and necessary energy into those factors. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s okay to be upset when things in life go wrong, but then it’s how we

move forward that’s really important. Students should be able to practice problem-solving and being part of the solution. I believe resilience is something that is not inherent, it’s learned, and it should be modeled and coached by adults. MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES… are on the rise in our schools. We see students every day who may be anxious, depressed, stressed, or suicidal. Counselors are available to all students to provide support. We also refer out to community resources that may be necessary or helpful. TH E M OS T R E WAR D I N G PART OF MY JOB IS… handsdown getting to know students and collaborating with my fellow counselors. I’m all about building meaningful and positive relationships. Our students have so much to teach us if we will just take the time to listen. I believe in Carroll ISD and our mission to create an environment where students feel safe and loved. I feel like we (district employees) should always strive for ways to improve so that we can provide the best opportunities for our students to reach their full academic, social and emotional potential. INSIDE CARROLL • 87

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION 2018-2019 Secondary Teacher of the Year Carroll Senior High: Eddie Morman


wo simple words have been the driving force for a certain Carroll Senior High School teacher: Be Better. This is the mantra 2018-2019 Secondary District Teacher of the Year Eddie Morman began telling himself in junior high. With his parents dealing with substance use issues and less than 10th-grade educations, Morman rarely heard the topic of high school or college brought up in his house. “To a poor kid who attended five elementary schools in six years, college was reserved for the elite,” Morman says in his Teacher of the Year application. “Nonetheless, I was determined to ‘be better’ no matter what it was going to take.” Leaving home during his freshman year in high school to move in with a friend, Morman was determined to get his education. He enrolled in the Goodland Boys Home in 1997 and graduated high school in 1999. He made having a college degree a reality when he graduated in 1999 as a double major in history and political science at Ouachita Baptist University. “Every student I interact with, every concept I want my kids to master and every single story I tell all have the same theme woven in-and-out them… ‘Be better,’” Morman says. “Whatever ‘better’ looks like for them… Better than yesterday, better than last year, better than even what they would define as their ‘best.’”

Morman arrived at Carroll Sr. High in 2015 and while there taught US History and AP History as well as serving as the sponsor for CSHS’s Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL) program. “My philosophy of teaching is as old as the three R’s, with my personal twist. My three R’s are Relationships = Relevance + Rigor,” he says. “In order for learning to take place, relationships must be fostered. In order for relationships to be fostered, relevance to a teenager’s life is both crucial and critical.” Morman says his philosophy is simple, breaking down what he calls the stereotypical teacher and student relationship. “My job is to teach,” he says. “However, my true job is to inspire, motivate, cultivate and educate without the students seeing me in the traditional ‘sit and get’ a.k.a. ‘I teach - you listen’ manner.” In Morman’s first year of teaching, a veteran teacher approached him and said the three reasons he became a teacher were “June - July - August.” It was then Morman says he decided to “‘be better.’” “I chose then and there to be more than a teacher,” he says. “I chose to become a part of my student’s lives. I chose to have a relationship with them, I chose to invest in them, and I challenged myself to do this in a manner that was unlike the profession had ever seen, heard or thought of before.”


EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION 2018-2019 K-6 Teacher of the Year Walnut Grove Elementary: Somer Hughes


ean words are like a sharpie mark, once they are said, it’s hard to get them off.” This is something a fifth grader said while serving on the Resiliency Committee alongside 2018-2019 Elementary District Teacher of the Year Somer Hughes. The committee discusses issues students today may be facing, like mental health and bullying. “We have to talk about it, we have to report it, and as educators, we need to empower our students to not only think positively about themselves but to be kind to one another,” Hughes says in her Teacher of the Year application. Hughes currently works as a physical education teacher at Walnut Grove Elementary School. In that role, she works hard to create a supportive, nurturing environment and to set a tone of mutual respect in her classroom. “Often games that are played in the physical education setting, serve as a breeding ground for bullying,” she says. “I do not allow students to choose teams during our games because it can encourage social exclusion, and I carefully watch the interactions amongst my students while they play. It is important to choose games that promote inclusivity and cooperation.” In teaching, Hughes actively promotes kindness and inclusivity and has worked with an adaptive PE specialist and students to modify activities to ensure they can join in. She has also worked to bring the Kids Heart Challenge to Walnut Grove, which this year added a self-esteem component. “I explained to the students it is not only what you put into your body that matters, but your thoughts are also just as important,” Hughes says. “If we teach our kids to recognize their own unique gifts and talents. only then will they be able to appreciate the unique gifts in others.” Part of Hughes’ work to promote kindness is the “Way to Go Dragon Award,” which Hughes gives to students to recognize their class contributions. “If they are helpful to a classmate, acting respectfully or maybe they are the first person to say ‘good game’ after a loss, they are

eligible to earn the ‘Way to Go Dragon Award,’ Hughes says. Every student will receive a “Way to Go Dragon Award,” because she makes it a point to watch them and “look for acts of kindness to celebrate.” By the end of the school year, she distributed over 1,400 awards for acts of kindness at Walnut Grove. “We must combat bullying head on and make it a point to eliminate those ‘sharpie marks’ in our society and our school systems,” Hughes says. “As educators, we must evolve, communicate and prepare our classrooms in a way that we are encouraging kindness and creating safe, and secure environments for our students.” INSIDE CARROLL • 91

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EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION The Voice of the Dragons Ken Goodman Puts His Heart, Soul and Vocal Cords Into His Craft


oooooood evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Dragon Stadium!” This is a familiar sound to many fans who frequent Friday night home football games in Southlake. Since 2009, Ken Goodman has been “The Voice of Dragon Stadium,” but his announcing duties extend outside of the Friday night lights. Eleven years ago, when the Lady Dragon Softball team needed a game announcer, Goodman stepped up and volunteered to take over. Goodman felt that it was important for the athletes on the softball squad to have their names called and their music played, just like ever y other D ra g o n ath l etic team. At the conclusion of the season, Goodman was approached about a bigger role in the athletic department. With the installation of the new video and audio system at Dragon Stadium , school of ficials felt the need to build consistency in the announcer’s booth. Goodman was asked to join the production crew as a key member---the public address announcer. Goodman realized the importance of the experience at Dragon Stadium, and began to study up on his “craft.” “Knowing that I was going to be in the mix of camera operations, music, marketing efforts, as well as keeping up with a fast-paced spread offense,” Goodman recalls. “It was important for me to learn my craft because, as some fans may or may not know, the UIL (University Interscholastic League) actually has very specific rules governing public address announcers.” Goodman took the time to become officially certified with the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA) in preparation for his first year behind the mic. In Goodman’s debut season,

the Dragons went 16-0 and won the UIL State Football Championship. “I learned so much in that first year, including that the PA guy gets a championship ring,” Goodman says. Over the years, Goodman has received invitations from other sports and organizations within Carroll ISD to announce or emcee events. In addition to football, he now announces Dragon Baseball, Dragon Basketball, Lady Dragon Softball, Lady Dragon Basketball and Lady Dragon Volleyball.  Goodman has served as emcee at ba n q uet s fo r Dragon Baseball, Lady Dragon Softball, Lady Dragon B a s ke tb a l l a n d , for the first time during the 20172018 school year, the Carroll Medical Academy banquet. One of Goodm a n ’s f avo rite days of the school year is graduation. He is responsible for announcing each senior’s name as they cross the stage. For Goodman, it’s an honor to have th e op portunity, and he understands just how impor tant this moment is for his audience. “Graduation is a special and exciting event for me to announce,” Goodman says. “It is by far the most daunting and time-consuming task for me, but it is so exciting to see all of these smart and talented students reach that milestone. I spend hours working with the students and counselors in order to make sure every name is correct. After hours of studying, it’s graduation time!” Goodman and his family have been Dragons since 2000. Goodman has been married to his wife, Kim, for 26 years. She currently teaches Child Development at Carroll High School. The Goodmans have four children: Kelsey, Shelby, Natalie and Wesley. INSIDE CARROLL • 93

EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION Trustees Focus on Social, Emotional Well-Being of All Dragons


n Texas, more than 5.3 million students rely on public schools to help them prepare for the future. One of the critical roles to ensure educational excellence is that of the local school board. Locally-elected school trustees are working in every Texas school district to make certain that the children have access to the best schools. Trustees are volunteers who donate hours of their time each month to keep the commitment to today’s students. Trustees receive no pay for their work and are required to complete training hours each year. In C arroll ISD, the school board members serve a co m m u n it y with 8,400 students and more than 1 , 20 0 e d u c ato r s and support staff. T h e 2 0 1 9 -2 0 2 0 school board members are Sheri M i l l s , P re s i d e nt ; Michelle Moore, Vice President; Danny Gilpin, Secretary; and Trustees Dave Almand, Matt Bryant, Todd Carlton and Bradley Taylor. Collectively, this group works to ensure that qualified teachers are in place, buildings are safe, and resources are provided. These civic-minded volunteers have 16 current or former Dragons of their own, and work tirelessly to serve the greater Carroll community. The school board is the policy-making arm of the district and has the responsibility of hiring and evaluating the Superintendent. Together with the Superintendent, they make up a team of eight, and are often faced with difficult decisions to make on behalf of students. During the past school year, Carroll ISD’s team of eight completed a Crucial Conversations team building session. “It’s a tough job and a critically important one,” says Superintendent David Faltys. “The general public probably has no idea just how much time these volunteers commit to their positions as Trustees. They help set the vision of the district and ensure that the 94 • INSIDE CARROLL

Administration carries out that vision while promoting opportunities for student achievement. It requires a lot of ongoing communication and trust. We often work through very difficult situations to make decisions that we believe are in the best interests of our students.” Trustees attend special events, serve as liaisons to advisory committees and often meet with city leaders to support positive community relations for Dragon families. This past year saw extensive discussion on topics such as diversity, student discipline, school safety and financial planning. A s a d vo c a t e s for public education, the board a p p rove d a l e g islative platform and traveled with school administrators to Austin to meet with lawmakers during the 86th Legislative Session. An area of focus for the Carroll School Board this past spring was to schedule face-toface meetings with students. In collaboration with student council leaders, the board hosted Diversity Dialogues to listen and share feedback with Dragon students in grades 9-12. “We’re all here for the kids, and as Trustees, we make decisions that affect them but it is rare that a school board will create a special meeting dedicated to meeting with the students,” Mills says. “I’m so proud of this meeting. The turnout was wonderful and the students brought us first-person experiences about what happens in our schools. They brought us ideas for making our schools better, and then had feedback for our Code of Conduct that we will implement. We will continue to meet with our students, and I would encourage other districts to host these meetings as well.” Students and staff were invited to sit at tables with a trustee. Questions or conversation prompts were drawn from a bowl and discussed during the 90-min-

ute session. About 100 students and staff members from Carroll High School and Carroll Senior High School attended. The table discussion centered on life as a Carroll Dragon, their experiences, whether or not they feel welcomed, have ever been bullied or singled out and whether or not they feel socially and emotionally supported at school. “We have an obligation as Trustees to be accessible to students and to make certain their voices are heard,” Moore says. “We will host a similar faceto-face meeting this fall because their feedback and recommendations were invaluable in shaping Board priorities and decisions.” Student wellness and safety have become key focus areas for the CISD School Board. In September, 2018 they voted to add four intervention counselors at the district’s secondary schools, and have supported the work of The Resiliency Project, including a Saturday Parent University on Resiliency and Safety that drew about 125 parents to breakout sessions and keynote speakers. During the 2019-2020 school year, CISD will host a Student University in the fall and another Parent University in the spring. In April 2018, Trustees also approved two licensed specialists in school psychology. These additional staff members will lower student to staff ratios by providing comprehensive and preventive services to include evaluations, consultations, individual/group counseling, crisis response, behavioral interventions, and more.

“Making CISD a safer place for our children has been on my mind for a while now, and the tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas this year only made me focus harder,” Mills says. “This year, I met with Alissa Parker who lost her kindergarten daughter in Sandy Hook. Speaking with her made a big impact on my input in the School Safety Task Force. “I am proud to say that, together with our city, we have implemented every single item that Mrs. Parker suggested we do to make our schools safer,” Mills adds. “Teaming with our city was wonderful, and we are grateful that Mayor Laura Hill also made safety a focus. Together we are ahead of Governor (Greg) Abbott’s safety plan, and I send my three kids to CISD with confidence each day.” Trustees also agreed to provide resources and support to families who participate in CISD’s new voluntary random drug testing program and will add nicotine to the list of drugs tested for the 2019-2020 school year. They have championed programs like Rachel’s Challenge and Hope Squad in an effort to ensure that students who are at-risk of bullying or suicide have the emotional support they need. “The social and emotional wellness of our students is a top priority for the Board,” Moore says. “I am proud of all that we accomplished this past year to help students model kind and inclusive behavior and make positive choices. This work will continue as we work hard to build a healthier and more supportive Dragon culture that builds resilient, adaptable and confident graduates.”


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Inside Carroll 2019  

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